16 Top Fundraisers on the Lessons of Scary Movies

I asked 16 fundraising experts if nonprofits could learn anything from scary movies. What they said made my hair stand on end.... But one expert made me laugh!

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know how much I love Halloween. With Joanna MacDonald, my co-author on Cause Marketing for Dummies, I used to run Halloween Town here in Boston. This two-day event attracted 15,000 people and was a big draw for companies hungry to talk to our "four-legged monsters" - moms with kids!

This year, I asked 16 of America's top fundraisers two questions:

  • What's your favorite horror movie?

  • From that movie, what lesson can we learn on fundraising and/or cause marketing?

As you'll see in the above slideshow, I got some great responses. I heard back from more people than I could include!

My apologies if you didn't make this year's cut. I hope you'll still give me candy when I come to your house - and not egg mine.

The Lesson from My Scary Movie

I was so busy including other people's favorite horror movie and lessons I forgot to include my own! 

The scariest movie I ever saw was Salem's Lot, which was based on a book by Stephen King. I was 11 when it came out in 1979.

That movie scared the hell out of me!

The basic story is that a writer returns to his hometown, Salem's Lot. There, he discovers that people are disappearing and vampires are to blame. Of course, no one believes him when he sounds the alarm because it's Salem's Lot - a small town in Maine.

I think this small town thinking is just what holds nonprofits and do-gooders back from committing themselves to fundraising. Like the residents in Salem's Lot they think, "There's no way big things can happen here." But they can!

salem's lot

More Scary Resources

Want to read some of my past Halloween posts? Here you go:

How Nonprofits Can Stop a Zombie Apocalypse

4 Cause Marketing Lessons from Hitchcock's Psycho

As always, thanks for reading. And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!