A Fundraiser’s Journey: The Accidental Fundraiser

Kelly Updike for PCNRC, A Fundraiser’s Journey seriesKelly pic

The Accidental Fundraiser

I only wrote that to get your attention. There is no accident to fundraising.

Fundraising, however, can happen when we least expect it. We just have to be attuned to it, on the lookout for it, able to jump on it, ready to roll. Okay, you get the picture.

Some examples:

  • You’re driving along Highway 30 and notice a new company has installed itself along the road. You make a note (carefully, you’re driving a car!) to do a quick Internet search about the company and its owner. You’ll want to send a “welcome to the neighborhood” card. And maybe involvement with your organization will boost the new company’s community and philanthropic profile.
  • While clearing out weeds from your lawn this past weekend, you start chatting with a neighbor and realize her interests could match what your organization does for the community. Next time you see her – or it’s a note/email/call later in the month – you invite her to take a tour.
  • A long-time donor is in your office for a routine visit. You give him a quick update about the goings-on in the organization and mention a few projects you’d like to do in the next couple of budget cycles. Out of the blue, he expresses interest in an area he’s not really funded in the past. Hoorah! You make a note to talk more specifically with him about this later.
  • After a board meeting, you are chatting about the great spring weather with a board member. She mentions that she is attending a few galas for other organizations. You say, “Hey, I can’t afford to go to that but, boy, it would be great to see that event and learn better how XYZ Nonprofit creates such a great fundraiser.” With little or just a bit more hinting (okay, you may have to outright ask), your board member offers to bring you as her guest.

Fundraising requires planning and purpose yet opportunities present themselves. This is connecting the dots; you don’t have to be pushy. Be ready, be alert, be yourself.

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.




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