Appeal — Like Peter Pan


When I attended "Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan" at our beautiful Fort Worth Bass Hall, I was reminded of the principles of a successful fundraising appeal. The approach was spot-on.

During a standing ovation when emotions were high and the experience incredibly positive, Cathy Rigby (Peter Pan) appealed to this captured, enthusiastic audience to support the chosen charity of the Broadway touring companies - a national AIDS organization. (The principle applied here: Engage - emotionally connect - appeal. The timing of the appeal was perfect.)

From the stage, Cathy Rigby and Brent Barrett (Captain Hook) efficiently stated the cause and the results of millions of dollars raised to date in plain terms and connected it with our own local AIDS Outreach Center. (The principles applied here: Communicate a clear, concise message, tailored to the audience. Have the most popular/influential folks of your group make the appeal.)

Rigby told her audience that our donations would help her touring company raise more money than all the others. (The principle applied here: People love to be part of a winning team and help you reach a stated goal.)

Cast members, in costume, with a red bucket in hand, were stationed at every door to receive donations. (The principles applied here: Involve many in your appeal. Make it easy and convenient to give. Make it as personal as possible.)

Sure, Cathy Rigby "flew high" at Bass Hall as Peter Pan. But in my books, she also soared as a truly effective fundraiser and philanthropist.