happy arbor day!

well, i made my goal to plant 200 trees thanks in large part to a late flurry of my former hippie co-workers. (former => co-workers, they are all still hippies.)

a big thank you to everyone who donated … you helped a great cause that i truly believe in, and have helped me do something (personal fund raising) i have never, ever done before.

with that in mind, i gotta say … these last 3 weeks have really changed my world view on how to raise money.

first, i have a new found respect for the people I know who raise lots of money for hikes, walks and such. it isn’t easy to sell your friends and family on a cause, even one you love … and I was only looking for $200. i can’t imagine fund raising for a $3,000 walk.

second, as someone who does online fundraising for a living, i’ve been to tons of conferences where people sell this type of “friends-asking-friends” as the future of modern american online fundraising. all i can say is “hooey.” or “pthbthbthbthbt.” or some other onomatopoeia of your choice.

to begin with, it’s *hard.* a lot of people (me!) don’t like to ask for money. writing just four blog entries pitching the cause was excruciating. also, there is a very vocal group who *really* don’t like to be asked for money, either. (granted i run with a snarky lot, but still …)

imho, the benefit of doing this sort of campaign is the way it can energize an organization’s base, and as a great way to spread it’s message to new people. it’s hard to believe that some day organizations will get the bulk of their funding from a process that is so draining for half the personality-types on the planet.

but all this is water under the bridge … 15 *great* people steped up and give their hard earned moolah to plant trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. hopefully, we’ve helped jump start the Plant a Billion campaign, which has — in just three weeks — raised enough to funds to plant 276,080 trees.

p.s. the “chevy” widget above isn’t actually green-washing (entirely?) … the nature conservancy get $1 to plant a tree each time someone grabs the widget for their web site or social network page. you’d think that would be better highlighted somewhere …

p.p.s. now, i return you to your regularly scheduled blog without substance.