Today is Red Nose Day — a day designed to “use fun and laughter to raise money for children living in poverty throughout the world.”  It is being dubbed as “fun-raising” (vs. funD-raising) and features a series of events to help encourage donations.

Examples include Walgreens, a major sponsor, selling red clown noses for the charity; restaurants such as Tony Roma’s contributing funds for each full rack of ribs sold, and even NBC running a live broadcast for the event.  I wonder if it will catch on and we’ll see people about town today sporting clown noses or laughing more.

It seems that fund-raising has taken on a whole new dimension these days, with each charity trying to come up with a unique gimmick to grab the attention of social media and donors.  The Ice Bucket Challenge, of course, and now Red Nose Day. Then on October 16 it is Be Bold, Be Bald! where people are encouraged to wear a bald cap in support of those with cancer and to solicit donors for the cancer charity of choice.  

The bar in fund raising has been raised.  

It will become increasingly difficult for a plain annual fund appeal letter to stand out and attract the attention of younger donors. What can you do to get your message out in a way that is creative, but keeps donations at the heart of what you are doing?

Take care not to become a fund-spender as you advertise and host events to get the word out about your fund-raising event.  

— beth triplett

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