Fundraising – The #1 Priority of our Clubs


Last year at our Rotary District Membership Conference, Rich Berryman, our then District Governor – who was doing a great job for us having just completed his first round of personal visits to all 59 of our District’s Clubs – said, in his opening remarks, that clearly the #1 priority of our Clubs was fundraising – although he would have liked the priority to have been membership. Hey, he had to say that – after all, he was at a Membership Conference.

– to engage support and build their community base. Modern-day Crowdfunding is usually defined as: “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”

fundraisingFundraising via modern-day Crowdfunding is experiencing explosive growth: in 2011- $1.5 billion was raised globally; in 2013 the amount raised increased to $5.1 billion – a 240% increase which was followed last year, 2014, by a 167% increase – Funding on Steroids!

Crowdfunding Offers Gems for Rotary

Through Crowdfunding, our Rotary Clubs will have a platform to reach out beyond their existing support bases to engage new supporters. Supporters who are unable to contribute financially can become involved by spreading the message to their families and friends who, in turn, will be encouraged to spread the message even further.

As the scope of our Clubs’ projects and quests for funding expands to more people, our fundraising goals will become easier to meet – and exceed!

Additionally, Crowdfunding offers not so hidden gems waiting for Clubs that become involved, including:

  • increased exposure on the scope and depth of our involvement in service to our local communities and further afield;
  • a means to accelerate recruitment of new members;
  • greater recognition of Rotary as a dynamic and forward-looking service organization prepared to be involved in an exciting new paradigm for community outreach, engagement and fundraising which is keyto growing membership – especially within communities of younger people.

The Hidden Gem – To Be Revealed

Crowdfunding is not better than traditional fundraising methods. Successful Crowdfunding combines traditional marketing with digital marketing on the internet in an integrated marketing approach committed to communicating the ‘story’ behind a project.

In response to Rotary’s need to build fundraising capacity, halt and reverse the freefall in membership, and based on several years’ research and experience within the industry, a gem of a newsletter – published by our Rotary Community for our Rotary Community – is about to be launched.

Crowdfunding for Rotary” is designed as a guide to the best practices in Crowdfunding and the pathway to the art and process behind running successful fundraising campaigns and – accelerating membership recruitment.

The Crowdfunding for Rotary newsletter will offer subscribers:

  • A means to learn and keep current with opportunities inherent and emerging within the exciting arena of crowdfunding;
  • An insight into how integrated marketing, supported by group mentoring based on best practice, can provide the path to prepare projects for successful crowdfunding campaigns;
  • The opportunity to participate in the emergence of a unique approach to successful crowdfunding: “Going for the 4D Factor.”

To find out more about “Crowdfunding for Rotary and how to subscribe, visit – do drop by!

By: John Chilton, Charter Member and Crowdfunding Director of Alton Centennial Rotary, Alton, New Hampshire, USA.
Email:, Phone: 603-875-1747, Skype: johnc478