I'm Michael Whitney. Professionally, I'm an expert marketer, fundraiser, and campaigner with thirteen years of experience building digital programs and trainings for candidates and organizations in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Rolling Stone named me one of "16 Young Americans Shaping the Presidential Election."
My educational background is in documentary photography. I spent time learning that art at American University and at Prague's film, art, and music academy.
After serving as Bernie Sanders' Digital Fundraising Manager for the 2016 election, I moved to Australia to be the Fundraising Expert-in-Residence with the Centre for Australian Progress where I worked with NGOs throughout that country and New Zealand. Now I'm working with organizations to help evaluate and improve their digital programs (and I'd love to hear about how I can help you).
More below! You can also download my CV to get the 1-page summary.
Here's what you should know about my fundraising work.
- I served as Bernie Sanders' Digital Fundraising Manager during the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary, during which I helped raise $218 million online from 8.5 million contributions.
- I trained and consult for dozens of fundraisers and organizations, including small non-profits, political parties, and established NGOs in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. I've also led two intensive fellowships on digital fundraising for more than 40 campaigners and fundraisers.
- It's not just Bernie Sanders whom I've helped raise money. Clients include Avaaz, Amnesty International USA, Zephyr Teachout, DeRay Mckesson, MoveOn.org, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.
I'm always eager to see if I can help folks learn more and improve their own fundraising work, so never hesitate to get in touch.
My university degree is in photography, strangely enough. I specialized in documentary photography, completing my studies at American University in Washington, D.C., and supplementing that with several months at Prague's Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Art (FAMU).
I had a photograph featured as part of a street photography exhibit at the Tate Modern in London in collaboration with Flickr. My work has also been in exhibitions in Buffalo, N.Y., and Washington, D.C.
Before I focused on how to help folks raise money, I helped folks work to change their communities and win on their issues. For two years I was the Director of U.S. Email at Change.org, where I ran the 20+ million person email list to connect people with campaigns they support.
I've also campaigned for Chelsea Manning, BP oil disaster cleanup workers and affected fishermen, Trayvon Martin's family, marijuana legalization initiatives, shareholder advocacy at financial firms, and labor rights legislation.