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A few months ago my local AFP chapter hosted a panel discussion with representatives from some of the big corporate giants in our city. The primary topic of discussion was sponsorships and other support they provide to nonprofits. The big takeaway was that they are not really interested in the main perks that nonprofits offer such as event tickets and recognition on donor and sponsor lists.

What they like should be no surprise: employee involvement and alignment with company values. So far, so good if you’re approaching the corporate foundation. Increasingly, though, sponsorship money comes out of the marketing department and they will have additional goals related to company visibility ... but the traditional methods just don’t cut it any more.

Media advertising has suffered a similar problem with the usual ads losing their effectiveness thus the rise of native advertising1. Native advertising is promotional content developed by or for a sponsor that is presented as editorial content. Earlier this month, John Oliver had a few words to say about the practice:


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Giving Tuesday is an annual fundraising initiative – a national day of giving – founded by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations in 2012. Last year more than 7,000 nonprofits participated in the event raising $19 million. Just like any crowdfunding, though, the amount of money you can raise will very much depend on having a focused plan and sound strategy.

Fortunately, the sector gets better at this every year and people and organizations are generous with their tools, tips, and ideas. Here are a few of the best I’ve seen to date. Even if you don’t participate in Giving Tuesday this year, you’ll find some great ideas for other projects.


Happy planning!

In 1858, the Australian colony of Victoria was young and rich. Neighboring not-so-rich colonies had been launching expeditions of discovery into the "barren void" of the interior for years and the leaders of Victoria wanted in on that action. The Exploration Committee of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria (later the Royal Society of Victoria) began making plans for an expedition in the name of progress and science. If there’s glory to be had, so much the better.

An anonymous donor (later revealed to be Ambrose Kyte) issued a £1,000 challenge grant to support the enterprise on the condition that £2,000 in matching funds be raised from the public within 12 months. A fundraising committee was established forthwith.

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