Raising Money? Learn from Wildebeests!

Here at Rally, we’re big fans of AskNature.org, a website that helps you emulate nature’s time-tested strategies to solve new problems. This approach, called “biomimicry,” is being applied to engineering, architecture, medicine, and product design. Why not fundraising?

Curious to see if it would work, I dug through AskNature and found a few plants and animals that would make fabulous fundraisers. My inner nerd shouted “blog series!” So, over the next month, I’ll be sharing fundraising tips from Mother Nature on the Rally blog. Up first, the Wildebeest!

Wildebeests: Be on the lookout for future opportunities

Photo by amanderson2

Wildebeests can detect a shower of rain from over 30 miles away. Although they don’t migrate quickly enough to drink from the rain puddles, they arrive just in time to eat the freshly growing grass!

As fundraisers, sometimes we’re so busy figuring out how to convince existing donors to give more that we forget to scout for new prospects. The wildebeests remind us to occasionally look towards the horizon and plan for the future.

For example, is there a new TV show that deals with the issues you work on? Try joining the conversation on fan forums or writing a blog post that connects the show to your organization.

Or maybe you’ve noticed a cultural trend that seems relevant to your cause (e.g. boomerang kids or FOMO). Spend some time brainstorming ways your cause could reach out to the people involved. You might just find a fresh field of new donors.


The next post in this nature-inspired series will look at Snow Buttercups. What can they tell us about raising money? In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you think! How has your organization been like the Wildebeest? Have you ever been inspired by nature?

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  1. Jason Hreha November 1, 2011

    Great post, Kaitlyn! I love biomimicry – one of the most exciting new applied sciences.

    Check out this TED talk on the subject:


  2. Jesse November 3, 2011

    Invigorating post! Just as potential donors need to be approached in refreshing and unexpected ways, so to do the organizations reaching out to them. Looking forward to what Snow Buttercups can teach us. Nature, ftw!

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