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Fundraisers: Don't Ignore The Rise of the Ents

“The Ents are going to wake up and find that they are strong” – Gandalf, The Two Towers

If you’ve never seen or read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Ents were tree-like creatures that lay peaceful and relatively dormant for thousands of years. When Saruman started tearing down their trees for fuel and just generally making his evil plans known, they decided to respond.

And it was powerful.

In fact, they turned the tide for the heroes in many ways.

Something similar is happening now in America. In the current political climate, there are a lot of people waking up – they are starting to pay closer attention to politics for a variety of reasons and in many cases, they don’t like what they see.

My wife and I have commented to each other that more and more of our friends, who rarely if ever post something political on Facebook, are now doing so with regularity (on both “sides”).

To fundraisers I say pay attention, take notice and engage.

Ashley Fetters recently wrote for GQ about the “Rise of the Rage-Donation.” It seems that more people are making more first-time donations than ever before, and your nonprofit needs to be ready.

You have an incredible opportunity to engage with people who are more concerned than ever with your mission. And these people need to be educated about what YOU are doing to further that mission. More and more people are wanting to get involved, certainly financially, but also volunteering, protesting, giving aid, and many other ways.

Be Prepared.

Get out there and let people know that yes, the big national organizations are important, and we need to support them; in addition however, the work that you are doing locally is critical as well. More than ever before, people are wanting to get involved. As you well know, they have a LOT of options – so make sure your organization is one of them.

My wife and I took our kids to a rally recently – first time for them, first time for us in many years. It was invigorating and encouraging, and it will not be the last time. We were encouraged to give to some national organizations there, but there were a few local organizations present as well – there should have been more there!

A large group of people are starting to get more involved in social justice, environmental, religious, community development and many other kinds of nonprofit organizations – are you ready for the Ents?

The Art & Science of Digital Donor Retention

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  • Julie Carter

    Great insights, James! I've noticed it too. Thanks for the reference to Ashley Fetters' article. From a part time neighbor, south of Roanoke.
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