WPage 1

Make a Difference Today: The Power of Grassroots Fundraising


By Laurel Rosenthal of The ALS Association

Grassroots fundraising is one of the most effective methods used to raise donations for a cause.  Driven by a community, it is a movement that is orchestrated often locally by volunteers and community organizers.  Though it is frequently referenced in context of a political movement, grassroots fundraising is used widely among non-profit organizations to move their mission forward.  The intended objective is to raise funds, yet grassroots campaigns bring so much more to the mission at hand. It generates awareness for the cause and advocates for the change that is needed to accomplish the goals of the organization.

What makes grassroots events so unique and effective is that anyone, anywhere, at anytime can organize a campaign to make an impact in the cause they support.  Participants of these events are not only encourage to get involved in the actual events, but also to invite as many people possible to give donations, whether they may be large or small amounts.  Even though donations contributed from grassroots fundraising are smaller than other fundraising strategies, they become significantly more impactful because a greater number of people are involved in raising the money needed.

The Phi Delta Theta Fraternity has experienced phenomenal success in using the grassroots fundraising method to generate funds to support its mission and the mission of The ALS Association.  Through the Iron Phi campaign, Phi Delta Theta members have utilized and organized athletic events to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s Disease and to support the values and traditions of the brotherhood.  Over the past few years, hundreds of  Phi Delta Thetas have created Iron Phi events that have raised thousands of dollars for the fraternity and The ALS Association.  Additionally, numerous Phi Delta Theta Chapters utilized The ALS Association’s grassroots fundraising website, One Dollar Difference to organize local events at universities, that have this year raised over $20,000.

Getting involved in grassroots fundraising is easy to get started!  Create a plan of what you would like to accomplish.  If you would like to get involved in an existing event, you can search the Iron Phi website to find local events near you.  The other alternative is to create an event in your local community.  Make sure to plan ahead of time, by deciding the type of event you would like to create, determine a fundraising goal, and if you will need any volunteer support.  Once the strategy is in place and the event is formed, solicit supporters to get involved, whether it may be through the local community, fraternity brothers, friends, and/or family.  With the incredible connectivity of the Internet, you can easily generate success by sending emails, blogging, connecting with social media networks and fundraising online.

Whether you are a college student strengthening your local Phi Delta Theta Chapter or an alumus looking to continue the mission of the Fraternity, you can make a tremendous impact through a grassroots fundraising campaign.  Hundreds of Phi Delta Thetas have triumphantly driven the mission and vision of the Fraternity forward to greater levels.  You can continue this success by getting involved in a grassroots fundraising campaign.

Laurel Rosenthal is the Online Marketing and Communication Manager for The ALS Association.  Laurel Rosenthal has worked with The ALS Association for over 5 years, focusing on event fundraising and online marketing.  She began her tenure at The ALS Association developing the Walk to Defeat ALS online fundraising tools and materials, which has contributed to the great success of the program that raises over $20 million.  Recently, she has helped create One Dollar Difference, an online platform to make grassroots fundraising available nationwide for supports of The ALS Association.  Laurel is a graduate at Miami University.