Shana Pennington-Baird

is creating A Book! Audiobook! and Podcast - Fundraising 101 Toolkit

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Welcome! I need financial help with my next creative project! Short and sweet description: it's a book about fundraising for beginners (with all kinds of fun/true stories). Your donation pays for professional editing and cover art for book jacket.


First and foremost, thank you! When this idea came to me six or so months ago, I had no idea the amazing journey that it would lead me on. I have to admit -- I did not tell anyone. Write a book? What? Hire an editor? Record a podcast? And now that I am right smack in the middle of my journey I find that I could use some partners in my quest. Specifically, I would love to have you help me in paying or the professional editing the book (whose title will most likely change) Fundraising Tools: Real World Stories From the Trenches, recording the audiobook (which is the fun part) and then launching the actual Tool Kit online ( which includes checklists, Gantt charts, and other simple (but hard to create on your own) items that make fundraising easy. Other books that will come out of this include The Event Planning Checklist for Fundraisers and Talking Less to Raise More: Public Speaking to Raise $$. If you have attended a gala... any gala... you know why that second book needs to happen.

Will you partner with me? And... do you know anyone who needs these tools? Will they join us? We don't need a lot to get this moving. The base costs are professional book editing, professional audio engineering and editing for the audiobook, and cover jacket art. That's it. The book is written... well... at least until an editor gets a hold of it. Then there will be re-writing... and re-writing.

Thank you. $1 a month will make a HUGE difference. And if you can tell three people, we'll get there really quickly. Ironically, this book is about fundraising and... yup, I am fundraising. And I need your help so that I can help others.

Here's a short snippet from Chapter 1.

I was one of them. The administration. The other side. The ones who say, “Let's hire a development person who will wave a magical wand and money will be there for me to spend because… I don’t beg for money!” You may be one of them. You may work for one of them. They may work for you. You may be scratching your head and thinking, “Is she nuts? I have been raising money for years and it’s always smooth! My board brings in truckloads of cash each month!” If this is the case, please contact me with your personal fundraising stories. Seriously. Because this book is about personal fundraising stories. Stories that I hope will help you.


Here's a short snippet from Chapter 10

Field Story #2: From Zero to 587 donors in 17 hours.
Superbowl Sunday was Feb. 2nd, 2014 and when the Seattle Seahawks won the super bowl, Seattle went crazy. It was the first time that Seattle had ever won the Superbowl and the city was in a mad state of euphoria. The night that we won, fans were so excited that they swarmed and spilled over to a nearby neighborhood called Pioneer Square, known for it’s turn of the century (as in 1899) architecture. Unfortunately, some well-meaning fans climbed on top of a glass and wrought-iron sculpture and damaged it while celebrating. The structure was known as the “Pergola.” And as crazy as it was that night, the “rioters,” as the media called them, were typically passive aggressive and very contained. In fact, and it will relate to this story, it started a hashtag called #HowSeattleRiots and it showed an image of “rioters” patiently waiting at an empty intersection for the walk sign. Oh, Seattle.

So the Monday after this happened, a mom friend of mine was on Facebook, upset that this gorgeous piece of sculpture in a really cool part of Seattle had been damaged. My friend is a wonderful artist and I could understand why she was upset. I should at this point say that my friend did not watch the superbowl. I did watch it, but….sorry fellow Seattleites… I was born and raised in Denver. I wanted the Broncos to win. So, like any good fair-weather fan, I was glad I was wearing blue (colors for both teams) and I immediately switched alliances. When my friend posted that someone should raise money and pay for the damage, I contacted her. I have the fundraising background and I felt the same way. The news article stated that there was $25K in damage to this great structure. I figured it would take about a week to raise the money.

At this point, I planned this fundraiser just like any other campaign. We created a needs statement -- to raise $25K to repair the Pergola, I set up my list of potential donors, created a list of major donors to approach for a match and wrote a press release. My friend created a crowdfunding page on I would have preferred that we use one of the lower fee nonprofit crowdfunding sites -- like -- but we knew that timing was everything. If we waited for a partnering nonprofit to set up the account, the momentum would be gone. So, note, took 8% of the funds we raised. Crowdrise would have taken 3%.

Then, we posted our link on Facebook and went to bed. This was still the day after the Superbowl.

Now, we had a great image (that my co-creator designed) and she very wisely called our campaign #HowSeattleRiots -- Fix the Pergola. This brilliant use of a trending hashtag put our campaign front and center in the news. When I woke up we had about $400 raised. I headed off to the dentist and I am not kidding when I tell you that my phone was buzzing every couple of seconds, since I had set it to tell me each time we received a donation. It practically jumped off my lap.

The minute the hygienist was done cleaning my teeth both of us frantically opened the app on my phone. Donations were $3000 and increasing by the minute. In fact, we were starting to get donations at the $1212 level.

To explain the weird amount, I should tell you that the 12th Man is the symbol for the “fan.” It’s the symbol for all the fans who were thrilled we won. As I scrolled through our 100+ donations at this point most of the donations were $12. In honor of the 12th Man, the fan. And then, now we were seeing $1,212 donations from certain key people. The same people on my list to contact for matches -- only I had not contacted them yet!!!! I am talking about the SeaHawks owner, the owners of the buildings adjacent to the football field. My press release had gone out… but I think it was only picked up by one source. What had happened was we ended up on the international AP feed because of the trending hashtag. And… we stood out since the hashtag was funny and… just what is a Pergola after all?? The Seattle media had run a story on the morning news… and it was off and well… trending!

If you made it this far, thank you. That story just keeps getting crazier by the way...

This has been quite an adventure. And I am grateful for any support.

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