Save the Whales: A Lesson in Fundraising

Tom Ahern, a celebrated fundraising and donor communications authority, teaches us this lesson in fundraising when he once said:

“If you call yourself “Save the Whales”, every once in a while, you have to save a whale.”

Unfortunately, I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Tom Ahern, so I haven’t been able to ask what he meant by that phrase. I can only guess. And my guess is that he was referencing “Don’t tell me… show me”.

Taking those thoughts one step further. Many times, fundraising groups are discouraged because while some events are well planned, organized, and attended – and of course supporting a worthwhile cause, too often the results are disappointing. Most fundraisers at one time have suffered that disappointment.

Many times while members of a cause are passionate about that cause, the constant challenge is igniting that same passion in their supporters.

As well, group members share first-hand awareness of how donors’ funds are spent, whether building a hospital wing or saving a whale.

The lesson is that if you are asking people to support your whale-saving efforts, then bring them to the front lines. It’s that important storytelling, shared experience element that most donors seek, and many demand.

Sharing your good work and telling the public the importance of your cause encourages them to participate. Explain how funds are spent and how supporting your cause benefits more than just the whales and the world at large, but the donors themselves.

Be sure your cause is clearly defined and encourage your supporters to play an ongoing part. You may want to consider a volunteer program. Ask yourself why you were attracted to the cause and what ignited your passion.

If you can establish an ongoing donor program and have your supporters share your commitment, they will be more likely to bring their friends to the cause. And your cause will grow and thrive.

Mr. Ahern has also said, “There’s no silver bullet in fundraising”. H-m-m-m.

Find out more about Tom Ahern here:

These quick insights are meant to help you overcome the challenges of managing a fundraising campaign and we hope you have found something worthwhile here. To find out more, you can check our website Resources area or call. Thank you for your interest in MobilBid.

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