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.
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
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.