Why my three year old can raise a ton of money.

Here is why my three year old can raise money from absolutely anyone.  Here is her method:

Can I have a cookie?

Not until you finish dinner.

Can I have a cookie?

Not until you finish dinner- I am not going to repeat myself.

Can I have a cookie?



Five minutes go by.


Can I have a cookie?

Two more bites.

Dinner ends.  An hour goes by.

Cookie? I pick up toys.   Pleeeeeeeease?

Said child starts putting away toys.

You cleaned up by yourself?  Here’s your cookie.


Now… good parenting.  Nope. Maybe.  I don’t know.  I make this parenting thing up every day.


But…good advocacy on the part of my daughter.  YES.

1.  She was persistent.  I am not saying be annoying.  Or over ask, but “no” is maybe, or ask again later. And whining to the board or donors is a terrible idea. But she did ask– and more than once.

2.  She finally gave a benefit to me.  The donor.  As a parent, I thought, “WOW! She might start picking up after herself!  REWARD!!”  This psychology is not so different for the donor.  I want to see the value of my donation and how it relates to me.

NOTE:  If she had worn me down, I would have felt bad about the cookie and possibly only given a GUILT gift, which is a one-time get-out-of-my-face gift.  But she wisely played to what I needed and made me feel good.  On purpose?  Of course not.  She’s three and repeats herself until she gets what she wants.


Short take-away.  ASK.  Ask more often than you think. In between ASKING, let them know what you are doing. And most importantly, BRING THE DONOR INTO YOUR ASK.


Happy Tuesday.

#GiveBIG in Seattle… one day fundraising extravaganza

Today, Seattle (and other cities) are buzzing, trending, and screaming out that the Seattle Foundation will partially match their donations.  Most Seattle organizations have found another matching partner to guarantee a 1:1 match, so that it’s really clear that donor’s money will double today.

GiveBIG is a great tool.  And many non-profits are using it in really great ways.  But I want to call out the video created by the Seattle Foundation and TriFilm. I really like it- and it stars a good friend, Diver Laura, amongst other “heroes” in our community.

Check it out!

Here’s how we used the Seattle Foundation’s hero graphics on our images:


Photo credit:  Shana Pennington-Baird, International Coastal Cleanup 2013


Photo credit: Tsofia Richter, Gary Manuel Salon, Earth Month Belltown Cleanup

Last year raised $11 million.  What a campaign.


#HowSeattleRiots: From zero to 584 Donors in 17 hours – A crowdfunding success story

Feb. 2nd, 2014:  Seattle Seahawks win the Superbowl! The city of Seattle goes CRAZY. No one can believe they crushed the Denver Broncos!  There is mayhem in the streets…. sort of…

When I logged into Facebook on Monday, Feb. 3rd, I found that a friend has posted about the damage done to a local historic structure in historic Seattle, called the Pergola.  A handful of fans had climbed on top to celebrate and then climbed down after breaking some of the panels on top.   Here’s a link for more info about the structure.


Now, I watched the Superbowl with my three year old.  And being from Denver, I cheered for the Broncos for about five minutes and then immediately switched alliances, like a good fair weather fan, to the Seahawks when it become plain they were going to CREAM the Broncos.  And I wore blue, so I was okay either way, right?!  That night, I saw folks standing on this structure and it did look like some damage was occurring.  The next morning, the Seattle Parks Foundation reported $25K of damage to the structure.  Now, my friend Amanda, wanted to fix it.  I said, I can help. Hey- I raise money and stuff…

By the way, my friend deserves ALL credit for this idea.  And I won’t tag her here, because she’d kill me.  I just helped.  But I want to share the story for those of us to raise money.  And if you want the WHOLE story… yes, there is more…you must come to Seattle and buy me coffee.

Here’s the video that talks about what happened next  And it’s quite a fairy tale with good and bad all mixed together.  What an experience.  It’s worth a listen.


Also, I want to recommend that anyone in fundraising start following weekly free videos produced by Chris Davenport.  They are short (except this one) and have very good information.  Good stuff!!  They are always helpful to get me through the week.

Click here to subscribe.  AND be sure to sign up for his storytelling workshop this fall.  I know I want to go!

Please comment about any experiences you have had with crowd-funding,– good or bad.  I am really curious how you have used this platform– and how hash tagging has worked (or not worked) for you.

Thanks for reading.  And, as a new blogger, I must do a shameless plug… follow me?  Tell your friends who might care?  Muchos gracias.


Earth Month- 3rd Party Fundraising and #AVEDACleanWater

As April comes to a close, I am once again blown away by the generosity of others who raise money for our cause.  Currently, I work for an environmental non-profit and for the past seven years, AVEDA has supported clean water all over the world during Earth Month.  We don’t have any kind of total yet, but we know that it will be more than $130K+ for one month. Have I mentioned that we only have an $825K budget?  This is a HUGE chunk of change.

AVEDA?  You ask?  Hair styling, hair care, massages and makeup…. and the environment?  Why does this work?

1.  It’s good for their business.  It adds power to their brand.  Our supporters buy there.  Their clients feel good about the environment. And the stylists and retail folks feel great about where they work.

2.  I would do ANYTHING for my hairstylist.  I have been going to him for 20 years.  I mean THAT is a serious relationship.  If he says to me…”Shana, if you donate, it helps Puget Sound, I could go to India (that’s one real incentive) and I have you trapped here in my chair and I could make you look really, really bad…Moohahahaha!!”

No.  I would do it just because I love my hairstylist.  (Curtis, if you are reading this, we’ll need to talk about funding whatever theatre project you love the most… oh, and I need new color before heading to California at the end of May…)

3.  It’s the greatest marketing for our non-profit.  Can you imagine over 30-40 (or more) salons talking about your non-profit mission every day with all their clients??!!  That is why it works.

Now… here’s what can be tricky…

You will not have complete control.  Unless you create a memorandum of understanding spelling everything out, you won’t always know how your logo is being used, what is being procured in your name, or how you will get the money.  So, I urge EXTREME CAUTION.  Our current cause-related marketing partnership is renewed once per year.  And we trust these AVEDA salons.  We trust them with our brand.  Which is EVERYTHING.

So as Earth Month closes, I am filled with gratitude for each and every one of these stylists, AVEDA retail folks and independent salon owners.  I am so glad they are willing to help Puget Sound, our orcas, our salmon and local waterways.

Check out the AMAZING video Gary Manuel Salon did for Earth Month this year for Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.   Talk about an important partner!



Learning to Fundraise without Fear

 Here is a link to watch my online episode from Chris Davenport’s Movie Mondays. 

They are GREAT! Subscribe to his training videos every Monday for free.

From Chris Davenport (filmmaker extraordinaire– he totally rules.)

Are you new to fundraising, or having a hard time raising money?

In today’s episode, Shana Pennington-Baird talks about how she first learned how to fundraise. She talks about how by learning and following the steps that other fundraisers have taken, you too can raise money with greater ease.

Shana is the Development Director for Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. I met her when she came up to me at a conference to tell me how she had raised twice as much money with her campaign. It turns out that she had purchased “100 Donors in 90 Days” from me. And with the very first interview and action guide, she was able to double the donations that came in. You can hear her tell the story by going here: 100 Donors story


If you would like a copy of my VERY simple GANTT chart that I talk about in the video, you can download by clicking the link below.


It’s a very easy to use excel spreadsheet with movable arrows.  Monkeys could use it.  And if you need more help: