David Pogue: Helping the College of Science create passionate supporters

It’s another exciting week in development at the College of Science!  This Thursday evening, the popular College of Science Discover Science Lecture Series will feature Yahoo Tech founder David Pogue.  David is a New York Times columnist, correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning”, and hosts science shows on PBS’s “Nova”.   He will be presenting “Should Science be Allowed to be Interesting?  One Man’s Insane Journey through a TV Career on PBS.”

Having David on campus will certainly be exciting, but where does development and creating passionate supporters come in?  Especially since the lectures are free and open to the public.  And, did I mention,  we will not be making any formal asks for support…..!

It’s called friend raising!  It’s a concept we’ve heard a lot about, but unfortunately it’s still controversial in many development circles.  I like to define friend raising as building unique relationships that make donors feel like friends…who will ultimately want to contribute to the financial success of your cause.

Friend raising

Passionate, engaged donors (Photo credit)

Many in the development field, however, wonder where is the fundraising?  After all, that’s your job, right?  Raise money to support your organization – not make friends!  I couldn’t disagree more.  I firmly believe that the #1 goal of development is to make your donors as passionate about your cause as you are.  Passionate friends lead to passionate supporters.

The benefits of friend raising vs. fundraising include:

  • Donors who are loyal and renew their gifts
  • Passionate advocates that will encourage others to donate through word of mouth
  • Ambassadors who spread the word about your organization
  • Treat people like people – not ATM machines
  • It takes the transaction out of raising money
  • Compels people to join your cause and be part of your team

We will certainly enjoy all of these benefits by having David Pogue speak at this week’s Discover Science Lecture.   The lecture series, established in 2010, has created a loyal following among our many donors, alumni, and friends.  It’s helped us build passionate support for many of the programs and departments in the College of Science.  And all because we embraced the concept of friend raising!

If you’re still not convinced, here’s some of the best articles I found that might change your mind:

Why Friendraising Works Better than Fundraising, by Gail Perry

Friendraising vs. Fundraising:  How can you Raise More Money for Your University?, by Shira Gorsky

The Six P’s of Successful Friend-Raising, by Chris Allers

I invite you to check out the Discover Science Lecture series, or let me know your thoughts on friend raising by leaving a comment below.


About dknotek2015

I am a Development Director for the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Having worked in the Development and Alumni Relations Department for the past eight years, I have a unique background in development, philanthropy, and relationship building. I am a University of Nevada, Reno alum as well as a current MBA candidate. You could say I am silver and blue through and through! I am passionate about helping others. I understand how important education is to our local community, the nation, and the world. I remember struggling as a student to finish my own education, and how grateful I was when I received support through the generosity of others. As a professional, I excel at securing private donations which support the students, faculty, programs, and research of the College of Science. I am uniquely qualified to bring potential donors together with areas about which they are passionate and feel compelled to support.
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