April 16th, 2008 08:19 EST
Do You Really Need a Celebrity to Fundraise
An entire industry has sprung up around the recruitment of celebrities to do good works, from Angelina Jolie's work as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency to Michael J. Fox's advocacy for Parkinson's research. This growing trend is no surprise - celebrities exercise a tremendous influence over public consciousness. But does your organization really need a celebrity to inform others about your cause?
Dave Farquhar, Mission Increase Foundation CEO, points out that celebrity endorsements can work, but not necessarily for the reasons we think. "The reason celebrity endorsements work," he says, "is that nonprofits are embracing the truth that the donor, not the organization, should be the primary means of spreading their shared cause within their spheres of influence."
According to Farquhar, that means that today's nonprofits don't need celebrities to be successful. "While celebrities have large spheres of influence, every donor has influence among those they come in contact with on a daily basis."
A celebrity may be a solution for some, volunteers or donors for others, but as Farquhar asserts, "God still uses ordinary people to make a significant impact in the world around them."
"Jesus outlined a viral approach to spreading the Gospel" observes Farquhar. "Jesus takes a few men who are truly engaged with Him and His cause, and instructs them to first to go to people they know, then go to people who may have heard but need more information, and finally to the areas that have never heard the Gospel."
"Nonprofit organizations need to engage donors and others for service in the same way- not just celebrities - and fundraising dinners are a great place to start" says Farquhar. "Just as celebrities tend to pitch causes at gala events, ordinary donors can make an equally significant impact with a fundraising banquet by inviting their sphere of influence to participate. Often those guests become more engaged in the cause than those motivated to participate by a celebrity. Jesus understood the power of a personal invitation."
In April, Mission Increase Foundation is hosting seminars on its proven model for fundraising dinner. To sign up for Mission Increase Foundation's April 2008 fundraising dinner seminars in Colorado, Arizona and California go to www.missionincrease.org.
Mission Increase Foundation seeks to transform lives for Christ through effective giving and training. For more information, please visit our website, www.missionincrease.org