Engage, engage, engage


Ever wonder why your local newspaper announces 20 or more fundraising events each week? Surely there can’t be an endless of supply of people eager to show up on Saturday for a dog wash, a rubber duckie race...

But yes, in fact, there are!

It doesn’t take a lot of research to see that: People want to be engaged. Especially people under 50. Perhaps philanthropy has changed from the days of formal teas and peer soliciting peer.

It’s always been important to communicate with your donors. Today it’s critical to engage them. Give them a live experience connecting with your organization. As you have probably seen for yourself, participating in an activity involving your organization, your mission, and your clients has a much higher impact in creating involvement than sending a check or clicking a Donate button.

Some examples:

  • 5K races, bowlathons, tournaments
  • Dog washes and dog parks
  • Demonstrations at the State Capitol
  • United Way Cleanup Day
  • Helping with summer camp
  • Testing water samples or counting birds
  • Coach a team or read to clients

Why do this? Because when you take a step to involve the donor (especially a new donor) live, these are the connections you are making;

The donor/volunteer:

  • “Feels” the nature of your work and the good you are doing; and feels a part of it.
  • Associates helping you with a pleasurable “belonging” experience
  • Meets like-minded others
  • Fulfills his need to do meaningful work
  • Feels that you responded personally and positively to his gift; you need him.

The best of these events are those closely related to your mission (painting the homeless center, cleaning up the stream, taking a group bus to the capitol to show support).

This kind of event may not be your favorite thing to organize.But if you look around and brainstorm, you may find a volunteer who will be excited to launch this for you.

No more teas. Today’s fundraising calls for an ever-changing landscape of activities to attract donors!


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