Daniel Ho

Amor Fati

A Toronto-based management consultant who spends too much time thinking about coffee, riding around on two wheels, photography, books, and fried chicken!

Adventures in Fundraising


Being on the board of non-profits and charities brings the necessity of fundraising to the forefront. While everyone is generally well intentioned and wants to do great work, the fuel and lubricant the keeps these social ventures going is cold hard cash.

Over the years, the various organization that I've been involved with have had varying amounts of success in raising funds to sustain its activities. To a geek and business person like me, this all seem a bit haphazard. I'm thinking there must be a framework--a system.

So, in the past weeks, instead of reinventing the wheel, I've been picking the brains of various masters in this field.

Today's visit with Geoffrey McDougall has been most enlightening.

From Geoffrey's blog, his bio is certainly impressive. His current job is described as:

Geoffrey is currently working to establish partnerships with foundations and governmental institutions for Mozilla, makers of Firefox and one of the largest social enterprises in the world.

What's most impressive is his generosity with his time and knowledge. He tells me that there is "no magic" in fundraising. While that may be true, what I've gathered is that I have much to learn.

A lot of what is required seems reasonable. Remembering to position your opportunity in a story arc that makes sense to a funder; spending time being more social; treating funders like human beings and collaborators; and learning how to A-B test a pitch. Now the only trick is to piece everything together and just put it into practice. No problem. :-)

Some resources:

Geoffrey's Personal Blog

Jennifer McCrea's Exponential Fundraising Blog