Search the Site

Is This the Secret for Fund-Raising in a Recession?

There’s been much talk about how philanthropies may be one of the greatest casualties of the recession. (Considering their various inefficiencies, maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world.) It’s hardly just the foundations who were invested with Bernie Madoff; donors simply have fewer discretionary dollars. (And, long-term, the picture may get bleaker if President Obama downsizes the charity deduction, as he wants.)
So what’s a philanthropy to do?
For more than 30 years, there’s been a student-run dance marathon at Penn State to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund, which helps fight pediatric cancer. It is a 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping event.
There was legitimate concern that the fund-raising total would fall off significantly this year. But it didn’t: for the fifth consecutive year, THON (as it’s known) broke the previous year’s total. The amount is truly amazing: $7,490,133.87, some $874,000 more than last year.
It can’t be an easy time to be a professional fund-raiser, so maybe the pros should take a lesson from the college kids and start throwing some dance marathons.
(Hat tip: Mitchell Foreman.)