Snow Buttercups & Social Media Fundraising?

What does Mother Nature have to tell us about fundraising? A lot, it turns out.  On Tuesday, I posted about how wildebeests teach us to look for new donor opportunities. Today in the biomimicry series, we’re looking at Snow Buttercups.

Snow buttercups: Be flexible & follow your donors to new conversations

photo by nordique on Flickr

Snow buttercups bend towards the east in the morning, then they follow the sun as it moves west in the evening. This strategy, called heliotropism, allows snow buttercups to soak up as much sun as possible during their short season above-ground.

So what does this tell us about how we fundraisers can soak up more donations in social media? Like the snow buttercups, we should follow our supporters to new communications channels. Let’s learn what conversations they’re participating in and join them in the discussion.

Some examples:

  • Are the donors to your education nonprofit commenting on mom blogs? Try reaching out to Dooce or MamaPundit with relevant news about your organization.
  • Are people who give to your animal shelter posting photos of their own pets on Instagram? Download Instagram’s iPhone app and start commenting on those photos. Instagram also makes it easy for you to post your own professional-looking images of the animals in your shelter.
  • Are your supporters using a particular #hashtag on Twitter to discuss healthy eating? Start using it in your tweets to promote your nutrition nonprofit.

Ultimately, snow buttercups teach us that to soak up the most sun (and the most donor dollars), we must find out what our donors care about, and start caring about it too.


The next post in this nature-inspired series will look at Mistletoe. What can it tell us about raising money?

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you think! How has your organization been like the Snow Buttercup?


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