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TED Talks about Fundraising

The world of school fundraisers is ever evolving. You must keep developing and learning as a teacher, club sponsor, school leader, PTA/PTO member, or a well-wisher seeking to help your school fundraise. 

Having the role of organizing school fundraisers and changing the students’ lives is as inspiring as it is overwhelming. You constantly need new perspectives.

This is why we have compiled a list of 10 of the best TED talks on fundraising that you should watch. 

These TED talks will help you refine your relationships with donors, give you new ideas, and increase your motivation to impact students’ lives.

Be inspired and motivated.

But First, A Few Things to Remember

It is important to note that consistently delivering successful results has nothing to do with luck. You might get lucky with one donor, but schools that hold successful fundraisers do so for a reason.

Successful fundraisers leave a trail of clues that you can use to hold even more successful drives. Those little things you do [or don’t] hugely impact your ability to raise more funds. This includes obvious things like acknowledging your donors

More importantly, you have to learn and grow. 

Even when you feel your school is on top of its fundraising game, there are still new ideas you can use to keep winning new donors and more donor dollars. 

In this TED talk, Derek Sivers will show you how you can quickly grow your fundraising idea from one follower to having an entire community unite behind it. This is through leading by example and showing people your mission is something bigger than yourself. 

This way, newcomers will be able to join in on the action straight away.

The outstanding Amy Cuddy gives a two-minute technique to boost your confidence by 20%, reduce your stress levels by at least 25%, and improve how you influence people. 

All these are practical techniques that you will need when handling the inevitable uncomfortable and stressful situations that arise during the fundraising process. It is undoubtedly one of the most watched TED talks, with over 33 million views. 

In this fabulous talk, activist Dan Pallotta talks about how people need to start rewarding nonprofits, not for their frugality but for their big goals and accomplishments. He says donors need to stop looking at thrift as morality. 

This will no doubt light some fire in your belly and inspire you to aim for significant accomplishments (even if it will come at a cost). 

According to Simon Sinek, many fundraisers rush to tell donors what their nonprofit does. This, he says, leaves the donor lukewarm and is one of the reasons they fail to offer their support. Instead, you should focus more on the ‘why’. This helps connect them with your school’s mission, encouraging them to contribute. Remember, people will not support your actions but why you do them.

In this TED talk, the evergreen Kara Login Berlin gives a fascinating breakdown of money, how to ask for money, and ways of developing relationships. These are important issues for anyone looking to fundraise for their school.

She will make fundraising look easy while offering multiple ways for you to grow and improve yourself as a person and a professional. 

There is much to learn about fundraising from this interesting talk from renowned musician Amanda Palmer. Here she explains how to create a relationship with donors. 

She draws on her music career and the support she got from donors as an example. She says people will be more than willing to give if there is trust, respect, and empathy between them and the people they are donating to. 

We recommend this inspiring talk before you start a fundraising drive.

Want to learn about how to help your students? Listen to Ernesto Sirolli in this TED talk. 

He says schools and nonprofits should sit down with their beneficiaries and listen to what they need instead of assuming where the aid should go. 

The video will teach you to start thinking about how to help people from the point of humility. 

What stops people from contributing to your cause even when it is something they care deeply about? Is it apathy or sheer selfishness? 

Dave Meslin says it is none of those things. 

In this TED talk, you will learn seven things that stop people from contributing to your fundraisers.

Some of the factors are easy to ignore. For example, how legible is your website? Is your mission easy to understand, or is it filled with jargon? Can people easily see a call to action asking them to donate?

You will learn how to anticipate and negotiate such barriers before they become an obstacle to the success of your fundraiser.

Donors have a desire to be seen as generous. 

MIT research scientist Erez Yoeli talks about harnessing that desire to motivate your supporters to contribute to your cause. He says small gestures, for example, showcasing your most active supporters either on your website, social media pages, etc., can do the trick. 

What can your school do to ensure those who contribute are seen? 

Communicate to your donors what they stand to benefit if they meet expectations. For example, you can tell them that if they are in the top 5 contributors, their story will feature in the annual school magazine. 

Money can buy you happiness if you spend it on someone else. According to Scott Holdman, you can inspire your donors to give by letting them know how helpful their contribution will be. 

Show them that they are serving a higher purpose. He seeks to help us see what our cash can do to our happiness if we give it to someone else rather than focusing more on consumption.

Final Word

There are plenty of lessons for you from the above TED talks. You will learn about leadership, how to inspire others, and see areas you can improve. 

Need to know how to make headlines with your school fundraisers? We have provided some insights