Bin Laden killing and charitable giving

Last week after Osama bin Laden was killed by a Navy SEAL team, donations to The Navy SEAL Foundation went through the roof, according to this AP story.

It’s easy to see why. One of those news stories that gets everyone’s attention was out there. The SEAL Foundation has a clear and logical connection to the story. Donors want to touch big events.

This is why disasters prompt so much charitable giving. These events are by far the best way to bring on new donors that you have trouble reaching otherwise.

The smart thing to do when there’s a big news story is ask yourself if there’s any meaningful connection between your cause and the story. If there is, make it easy for donors to find you and to give. And be quick, because these things tend to fade fast. Try these things:


  • Get the word out through social media.
  • Use fast traditional media like newspaper print ads and spot radio.
  • Revise your website so the people who land there by search can quickly and easily give — don’t make them jump through hoops to find your donate pages!

Thanks to Buzz for the tip.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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