16 fundraising insights from Amanda Palmer at #IFC2016

Howard Lake | 19 October 2016 | News

Singer songwriter and successful crowdfunder Amanda Palmer delivered the opening plenary at the International Fundraising Congress. In under an hour she shared a string of insights and ideas about asking for money, based on her experience as an artist and performer.
She is not a professional fundraiser, and apparently took some persuading before agreeing to present in front of an international audience of professional fundraisers.
But her experience and insight into making connections with people and asking them for money or help, showed she was a worth plenary speaker at the event. And of course she has form: she was the first artist to raise more than $1m on crowdfunding site Kickstarter

Here are 15 ideas for fundraisers from her plenary.

1. Be a street performer


2. Every donor, every penny counts


3. Stop arguing and competing!



4. Imposter syndrome


5. What people want is to be seen


6. Asking hungers for context


Palmer shared a telling example of asking and context, featuring violinist Joshua Bell:


7. The gift must always move. Giving must be a circle, not a straight line.



8. Believe in the validity of what you’re asking for


9. All fundraising is crowdfunding


10. Find your crowd


11. It’s not you when people say no


12. No excuse for not saying thank you


13. Real relationships

Palmer said that she was often asked what her trick was in raising $1m in 24 hours. The trick is – there is no trick. It’s a long-term approach of give and take, as explained by Rainier Spruit on 101fundraising.

“You can’t go about crowdfunding if you don’t already have a crowd to raise funds from. People asked me what my trick was? The answer is, there was no trick. A relationship is never a trick, that’s why it’s a real relationship and real relationships can withstand an incredible amount of asking”.


14. Asking leaves space for the answer ‘no’


15. Asking is a collaboration



16. You must ask

Bonus tip


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