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4 School Fundraising Influencers Worth Following

By Clay Boggess on Aug 16, 2017
4 School Fundraising Influencers Worth Following

Engage with these influencers for pioneering ideas

The power of influence was popularized by tycoon Dale Carnegie, and its persistent importance hasn’t been lost on the millennial generation. Nowadays, you’ll find “influencer culture” in nearly every industry, as people who’ve cultivated a personal brand, identity and mission use their popularity to sell items and ideas.

Yes, even school fundraising has its own set of influencers. These folks blend their experience and passion for social impact to evangelize new ideas about how to raise money to make the world a better place. While these personalities are focused on big picture change, their ideas and inspiration can be valuable sources of creativity and encouragement when you’re hosting a local fundraiser for a school or community group.

Check out these fundraising influencers, and share some of your favorites with us.

A Fundraising Guru: Dan Pallotta

Twitter: @danpallotta

Fundraisers across the world know Dan Pallotta’s name as a pioneer in fundraising events. His multi-day walks generated enormous publicity and raised massive amounts of money for breast cancer, AIDS and suicide prevention (generating a combined estimated total of $582 million over 9 years).

Pallotta challenges traditional principles of fundraising, believing that we shouldn’t constrain nonprofits to unreasonably low overheads. He offers the idea that we should allow fundraisers to flourish and attract top talent, and provide them the flexibility to take risks and invest in the innovative solutions that could create real, large-scale change. Read his work and watch his TEDTalk if you need some inspiration to dream big and do things different.

A Fundraising Financier: Sasha Dichter

Twitter: @sashadichter

Dichter executes vision. As CIO of the Acumen Fund, Dichter is leading a company that is doing some seriously cool things by churning out socially innovative companies through strategic investment. Acumen is what happens when money meets ideas in the social entrepreneurship space.

Read Dichter’s thoughts on his blog, which is updated regularly with industry-leading thoughts and experiences on giving and philanthropy. School fundraisers can benefit especially from his advice on a topic we’re also pretty passionate about: fundraising leadership.

A Fundraising Editor-in-Chief: Stacy Palmer

Twitter: @stacypalmer

For nearly 30 years, Palmer has led the editorial efforts of the esteemed Chronicle of Philanthropy, a publication dedicated to giving the nonprofit sector a reputable source of information and assessment. Her vision has created a go-to for fundraisers across the sector looking for the latest and greatest in fundraising news and research.

Follow Palmer and keep up with state-of-the-sector information, and be the first to know about important conversations happening in fundraising and philanthropy. Her insights can help school fundraisers assess the macro-level landscape for important trends in giving that might impact fundraising strategies in the coming year.

A Very Fun Fundraiser: Beth Kanter

Twitter: @kanter

For social-savvy, we love Kanter’s unique, quirky style and connectivity with the digital conversation. Her down-to-earth, common sense advice for nonprofits and fundraisers is built on decades of working, teaching and training, and then applying what works best. Above all, Kanter’s advice is practical and can be implemented in fundraising groups across industries.

We suggest reading one of Kanter’s blogs or three great books. Measuring the Networked Nonprofit may be particularly helpful for thinking about how you can frame your school’s impact when you go to ask for donations, as well as inspire you to collect new data and metrics on your fundraising performance.

If you like Kanter, you might also like our grassroots ideas for school fundraisers!

Do you have any suggestions of thought leaders in the fundraising space? Let us know if we’ve missed a fundraising influencer.

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