3 Ways Nik Wallenda Can Inspire Us for the Giving Challenge

January 29, 2013

In just a few moments, the tightrope walker we’ve all come to know and love, Nik Wallenda, will walk on a wire 200 feet over one of the busiest roads in Sarasota without a safety harness.
Are you holding your breath?

Naturally, we have to use every opportunity to draw links between exciting events in the world and our upcoming 36-Hour Giving Challenge, so here you go. Let’s look at what Nik can teach us as we get ready to embark on a community-wide giving campaign:

  1. For whatever reason, we’re all enchanted by risk-taking.
    The 36-Hour Giving Challenge is just that—a Challenge. We’re not distributing equal grant checks to participating organizations; we’re asking each organization to use the resources at its disposal—volunteers, social networking, donor engagement, creativity, and above all else, strategy—to go for it. By nature, people will be excited by the fact that you’re participating. So make the most of it. Whatever organizational goal you have set for yourself—whether it’s small or large—put your all into getting there.
  2.  People like “live.”
    Though many of us working people will be watching the walk on rewind during the evening news, the most coveted way to view it is down at the site itself or on the live webcam. Think about how you will bring your audience to you during the Giving Challenge. On your website, through social media or expressed in appreciative calls to donors, give us a little taste of what it’s like to be at the “mission control” of your organization. Share photos of your team up at the crack of dawn, late at night, standing by the leaderboard, working with clients that day, etc. Bring people into your moment and make them part of it.
  3. Our community loves to see Southwest Florida basking in the national spotlight.
    People visit and winter in our community from all over the world, and our community has an identity we’re proud of. We like the Universe to know who we are, and where we are on the green and blue sphere of our globe. We have a thriving arts community. We have the world’s best beach. And we have some people, like you, who are 150% committed to making their causes shine in the biggest way possible. Let’s take this opportunity to do it.

I’ll feel better once Nik has made it safely across. Similarly, after the Giving Challenge is over, I know we’ll all sit back and admire the results. In both cases, what’s more exciting, though? Reflection after the fact, or enjoying the thrilling journey across? Something to think about…


-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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