Wednesday, May 9

Are you an extreme fundraiser?

In the good old days, all a donor had to do was a write a check and use the enclosed pre-paid envelope. But times have changed, as they say, and there is a lot competing for donor's attention today.

According to Verna Gates at the New Zealand Herald, its this competition for donor dollars that is driving some fundraisers to "extreme fundraising." The author cites a couple good examples:

The founder of, Eric Boyko, lost two fingers on Argentina's Aconcagua mountain while raising $100,000 ($135,256) for the Montreal Alzheimer's Society.

Jamie Baker got heat blisters last summer running across six metres of fire to raise £5000 ($13,498) for rescued badgers and hedgehogs at the Secret World Wildlife Refuge in Highbridge, England. "You don't dawdle," he said of the experience.
The media loves stories like these... and these and these. In fact, there are plenty of examples of well-intentioned daredevils and publicity hungry donors that do all sorts of crazy things for charity. we love these quirky donors, we really do.

However, the real extreme fundraisers are those that produce sustainable annual revenue growth for predictable budgets. It might not be as sexy as walking across hot coals, but I've got a lot more respect for a fundraiser who creates, plans, executes, and repeats a successful campaign.


Marc A. Pitman said...

I totally agree! The true "extreme sport" of fundraising is doing the basics of treating people with respect, asking them to invest in causes that matter to them, and being passionate about your cuase!

Mike said...

Check out
for an excellent example of extreme fundraising. Brian Oestrike and Justin Hewitt are climbing Mount Everest to benefit lung cancer research after the passing of Brian's mother to the disease last summer. They're about to make a push for the summit in the next couple days!