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Your nonprofit's
success guaranteed.

We guarantee you'll
raise more in your first
year or your money back.

Terms and conditions apply

The Accidental Fundraiser™ Podcast

You are here to create an impact. To make a difference. To change the world.

That’s why we created Accidental Fundraiser™, a show for you – the nonprofit leader, the Chief Everything Officer. Join host Kimberly O’Donnell as she sets out to answer the often unspoken questions rattling around in your mind. Letting you know that no matter what’s ahead, you’re not alone.


About the Podcast

AAccidental Fundraiser™ is an original show featuring fundraising expert and leader Kimberly O’Donnell answering the top-of-mind questions keeping you up at night. Through the stories shared by other nonprofit leaders you’ll leave each episode empowered with a “yes, I can” mentality and be ready for anything – including your next big fundraiser.

Latest Episodes

Podcast Bonus Episode Alyson Landers

BONUS: Balancing Your Fundraising Goals with Your Board’s Mission

Figuring out what makes people give to a cause is a challenge for every fundraiser. Alyson Landers, Project Manager of Major Gifts for the Hudson River Museum in New York, joined Accidental Fundraiser to discuss her journey to becoming a fundraising professional.

Podcast Episode 13 Bonus

BONUS: Fundraising Through and Post-Covid—What’s Next?

In this episode, Chany Ockert and Janet Cobb join to discuss what it takes to not just survive as a fundraiser, but thrive. Chany and Janet have worked in the nonprofit world for decades, giving them unique perspectives on the current state of fundraising, and what it means to build relationships in a continually changing environment.

Accidental Fundraiser Season 1 Finale

Episode 12: From Trenches to Triumph

Fundraising is hard, but in the end, it’s worth it. In this episode of Accidental Fundraiser, we’re celebrating the conclusion of season one by revisiting some of the highlights and pulling out key learnings from our guests. Listen in to hear why experience isn’t everything and why you should stay true to your mission at all costs.

Meta's Take on Creating Social Impact

BONUS: Meta’s Take on Creating Social Impact

Michelle Zelaya, Strategic Partner Manager of Social Impact at Meta, joins us on Accidental Fundraiser to share everything we need to know about how to effectively use Facebook and Instagram for fundraising.

Episode 10: $1.1 Million Raised 20 Days into the Year

Darius Baxter is the CEO and Co-founder of GOODProjects, an organization that walks alongside families on the path out of poverty. In this episode, Darius shares his journey from raising $3,000 and feeling like it was a million, to now raising over a million just a few weeks into a new year. Listen to the latest episode to learn not only how to reach the people you serve but potential donors as well.

Episode 9: Galas and Pledge Events and Cookbooks, Oh My!

When an initiative brings in $90,000 for two consecutive years with low overhead and supports the mission – someone’s clearly done their job right. Hannah Hausman, Executive Director for the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, achieved that fundraising trifecta with a pledge challenge. In the latest episode, you’ll hear how Hannah adapts her tactics to the market she’s in and why asking the right question can put everything into perspective.

Episode 8: Be Fearless, Try New Things, Make Mistakes

By the end of Nycky Miller’s first year at Gospel Rescue Mission as Director of Development, donations had almost tripled. On the latest episode of Accidental Fundraiser she shares her social media strategies and discusses why she doesn’t let mistakes made hold her back. Check out the full episode to learn how to be bold and use your missteps to grow.

Episode Library

Episode 1: Growing from 0 to 10,000 Contacts with Massachusetts Review

What do you do when your 50-year-old nonprofit has never done any fundraising? For Emily Wojcik of Massachusetts Review, it’s about “Giving people the opportunity to participate in something they love.” Listen to a new episode of Accidental Fundraiser to learn about the inner workings of Massachusetts Review and hear a donor story that blew Emily away.

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Episode 2: How Icing Smiles Built a Network of 12,000 Volunteers

How can you take a hobby and turn it into a nationwide nonprofit that brings smiles to the faces of sick children daily? After being disillusioned by her job in the corporate world, Tracy Quisenberry did just that. Listen to a new episode of Accidental Fundraiser to hear about how Tracy’s organization, Icing Smiles, utilizes peer-to-peer campaigns and keeps volunteers engaged.

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Episode 3: Mastering (and Crisis-Proofing) Long-Distance Fundraising

What do you do when the people you’re trying to help are halfway across the world? Find a team of volunteers you can put your faith in. That’s what Fereshteh Forough did when she started Code to Inspire, a coding school for girls, in Afghanistan. Listen to the latest episode of Accidental Fundraiser to hear how Fereshteh continues to make a difference in her home country, even in times of crisis.

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Episode 4: How to Build a Donor Base from Scratch

At Dorthy Day House, an organization that provides support services for the homeless, Brit Hotaling believes that fundraising best happens through storytelling. After all, most donors are drawn in when they’re touched after hearing about the people a nonprofit serves. As Brit puts it, “people give to people.” Listen to a new episode of Accidental Fundraiser to hear how she’s also using her volunteers’ experiences to promote the cause.

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Episode 5: Turning $1,000 into $10,000 With a Personal Message

Bonnie Sawyer, Executive Director at the Herren Project, once sent a simple birthday message to a donor and then saw their annual contribution increase. Using a personal touch is her main strategy for keeping donors engaged and feeling appreciated. Listen in to hear more ideas for connecting with those who give to your nonprofit. Bonus: She’s also got great advice on engaging board members as well

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Episode 6: Raising $750,000 without Fundraising Experience

At I Can Do That Performing Arts Center, Shayna Ronen found the confidence she needed to commit to the fundraising process. And it came from the most unexpected places. In this new episode of Accidental Fundraiser, she shares the lessons she learned from their first capital campaign and how focusing on the human-to-human connection made all the difference.

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Episode 7: Money Will Follow the Mission with Monkey’s House

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on the ask, but sometimes all you need is to share a story and show some gratitude. That’s the philosophy of Jeff Allen of Monkey’s House, where he’s learned to leverage the power of social media to grow their donor base. Check out this episode of Accidental Fundraiser to hear his tips and tricks for expressing gratitude for every contribution, big or small.

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Are you an Accidental Fundraiser™? Have a story you want to share?

Kimberly O’Donnell, CFRE, ACC, Chief Fundraising Officer and Senior Vice President of Professional Services at Network for Good

Kimberly is a seasoned fundraising and nonprofit leader. Having worked as an Executive Director, Chief Philanthropy Officer, fundraising consultant, and advisor to thousands of nonprofits, she has spent 25+ years blending fundraising, marketing, and sales principles to scale dollars raised and strengthen donor and supporter engagement. Kimberly was an adjunct professor for 11 years at Georgetown and George Mason Universities where she taught nonprofit management and leadership. A certified life/executive coach, Kimberly currently leads a team of Personal Fundraising Coaches for Network for Good and can often be found writing and speaking on the future of fundraising.

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