Fundraise Smarter

Placer Nature Center (Part II)

Posted by Mark Shreve on Jul 9, 2012 3:50:55 PM

When Megan and I discussed non-profit fundraising, she told me one story that’s going to stay with me for a long time. Placer were told they’d be getting a surprise visit from the California fire marshal. This meant they had very little time to raise $1,200. Megan told me how they were worried and struggled to find the funds, and when I said “well you’re still up and running, so obviously you raised the funds.”

“Yeah,” she said, “we let somebody go.”

It was awful to hear – a bad situation no matter how you look at it. The silver lining that Megan & I discussed from here however was that with online fundraising, and crowdfunding in particular, we’re trying to eradicate situations like this. WeDidIt wants to be able to help raise $1,200 in two weeks. In one week if need be. The traditional methods of nonprofit fundraising like throwing galas and applying for grants are great ways to get larger donations, but they take a lot of time and preparation.

Megan put this really well: “[Small nonprofits’] budgets are small enough that they cannot access simple services like proper business checking and credit cards or apply for certain grants. Competing for donation dollars is also extremely challenging because small nonprofits do not have marketing budgets – the majority of time, effort and budget go directly into delivery programs and services. Having options that help build capacity can make a world of difference for a small nonprofit.”

Megan – you nailed it. That’s what we’re trying to do with WeDidIt. We want to help you raise money when you need it most without spending (extremely) valuable staff hours and other resources. I asked Megan about her thoughts, hopes and even reservations about working with WeDidIt. She told me: “ I have seen what crowdfunding has done for other forms of business and I do think it can be applicable to the nonprofit sector. Crowdfunding helps excite people and helps instigate conversations. I am really excited about the reach crowdfunding could have.” Regarding working with a startup, Megan said that she wanted to work with a company that would listen to her suggestions. We’re listening.

PNC needs outreach. When I asked Megan about her ideas for programs and activities she’d like to do but can’t at PNC’s current capacity, she had a list ready to go. She wants to get more people outdoors, and that should be something we can all get on board with.

Check out PNC’s website and like their facebook page. Follow them on twitter and (for our Golden State readers) pay them a visit. They’re doing great work and believe me, it’s worth helping them keep doing it.

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Topics: regular

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