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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.

Tycoon Dale Carnegie popularized the power of influence, 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 hosting a local fundraiser for a school or community group.

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

A Fundraising Guru: Dan Pallotta

Twitter: @danpallotta

Fundraisers worldwide 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 an estimated total of $582 million over nine years).

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

A Fundraising Financier: Sasha Dichter

Twitter: @sashadichter

Dichter executes vision. As CIO of the Acumen Fund, Dichter is leading a company 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, 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 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, keep up with state-of-the-sector information, and be the first to know about meaningful 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 digital conversation. Her down-to-earth, common-sense advice for nonprofits and fundraisers is built on decades of working, teaching, training, and 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 ask for donations and 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 for thought leaders in the fundraising space? Let us know if we’ve missed a fundraising influencer.

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Author Bio Clay Boggess, Author

Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.

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