The Evolution of Fund-Raising – From Telethons to Online Giving

Lori Halley 30 November 2006 0 comments

Many years ago, I worked for the local telephone company, and was responsible for setting up all of the local and toll-free lines for telethons. There were so many back then, raising money for everything from childhood diseases to adult medical conditions to public broadcasting….. At the time, I used to think how great this was, with “ordinary” people (me) getting to be on television answering phones, and rubbing shoulders with “celebrity hosts”.

Now I realize why the executives and staff from these associations were so nervous and stressed before and during the telethon – this was their ONE SHOT at raising significant funds for the year! So, although it was fun for me, it was torture for them!

Fast forward to the present – the Internet has changed the way that not-for-profits can tackle the fund-raising challenge. Many websites offer the ability to make a spontaneous donation using a credit card, and some associations encourage their members to organize their own fund-raisers (walkathons, bikeathons, etc.) and promote it on the association’s site. Regular email and newsletter contact with members promote the association on a year-round basis, and establish a personal connection that encourages financial support.

So, although I miss the fun of telethons, I realize that the future of fund-raising lies in encouraging donations and participation via the Internet (but don’t tell Jerry Lewis, he’s still doing a pretty good job for MD!).

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 9:23 AM

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