At CSUF, nonprofits learn to turn political rage into donations – Orange County Register

Riled up?

That’s just the emotion that can be tapped by nonprofits looking to raise money for a cause, said Larry Kaplan, a speaker at the Gianneschi Summer School for Nonprofits Aug. 14-16 at Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

Kaplan, who runs a consulting firm in Los Angeles for nonprofits, spoke on “Nonprofit Advocacy and Rage Fundraising in a Trump Era” at the conference put on by Cal State Fullerton’s Gianneschi  Center for Nonprofit Research.

To an audience of representatives of local nonprofits, he said the heightened emotions with which some have reacted to the Trump administration offer an opportunity to persuade people to put their money where their mouth is.

“What’s going on — at least what I have seen — is primarily liberal donors are upset with the Trump administration and its policies and his personality,” Kaplan said. “It’s motivated people. And they’re upset. And so they’re looking for an avenue through which to express that upsetness and do something.”

Larry Kaplan says there are business reasons why nonprofits should pursue advocacy. (Photo courtesy of Larry Kaplan)

Nonprofits can capitalize on that to swell their coffers and membership.

Kaplan provided a couple of examples. When the American Civil Liberties Union sent attorneys to airports after President Donald Trump announced his first travel restrictions on seven majority-Muslim countries in January, the group saw online donations spike to $24 million in one weekend, nearly seven times as much raised online in all of 2015, according to The New York Times.

Likewise, Meals on Wheels took in more than $100,000 on the day in March after the White House announced plans to eliminate the Community Development Block Grant, which funds a small portion of the nonprofit’s operations, up from $1,000 on a typical day, according to The Washington Post. Volunteer signups also surged.

Not everyone can picket or hop on a plane to Washington, Kaplan said. Donating gives people an alternative.

“The whole thing about doing resistance and rage fundraising is you’ve got to strike while the iron is hot. It’s hot now,” Kaplan said. “Donald Trump is like the gift that keeps on giving. It’s like an outrage a day. It’s bad but it’s also good. You kind of have to think of yourself as an undertaker after the flu epidemic. Yes, it’s a tragedy, but think about how you can capitalize on it.”

The challenge: How do you keep the donations flowing? It’s…

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