The Art of Fund-Raising in the Digital Age

At the Event Innovation Forum in New York, the Global Poverty Project's Michael Trainer explained how the organization used digital tools to attract attendees and performers to the Global Citizens Festival.

December 12, 2013, 6:30 AM EST

With the advent of social media, apps, and other technology, planners now have more tools to engage their audience, and, importantly for nonprofit organizers, raise funds and awareness. At the Event Innovation Forum—New York on October 30, the Global Poverty Project's U.S. country director and the executive producer and creative director of the Global Citizen Festival, Michael Trainer, discussed how the organization used a point system on a Web-based platform to distribute 54,000 tickets to the first Global Citizen Festival in Central Park in 2012.

The inaugural event secured more than $1.3 billion in pledged donations; in 2013, the festival brought Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim to the stage in front of 60,000 people. Trainer also shared how the idea for the festival came about and the lessons he and the team learned, as well as how other fund-raising organizations can innovate by taking advantage of new technology.

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