One of the benefits of being a nonprofit, muses Jon Pratt, is that we have an unlimited supply of free advice from people in business, government, and philanthropy. Recently that advice has included many exhortations to raise money via Twitter and through crowdfunding.
Here's the amazing thing: we nonprofits are already experts at crowdsourcing! We've been doing it for decades! The sobering thing: we've been calling it fundraising.
As many of you know, my day job (actually my 24/6 job) is as CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). A CalNonprofits member just suggested that we use crowdfunding to help us "raise hell." After an initial "love the idea!" lightbulb, I realized that everyone who is a CalNonprofits member is already participating in crowdfunding us to raise hell: that's exactly one of the collective benefits of membership. And then I realized that annual campaigns, special events, direct mail, phone-a-thons, raffles, and candy bar sales are all types of crowdfunding . . . that is, ways for many people to contribute towards raising hell and making change.
Every generation re-invents the nonprofit sector, and renames everything. Let's embrace our changing sector, but remember how much we already know how to do well.
(Feel like crowdfunding Blue Avocado? Click here!)
* This issue: Extreme Board Makeover, Office Bullies, Advice on Managing Your Charity Navigator Rating, a Humor Column Point of Vu, and more. Stay cool, friends.