Not so long ago I asked staff of the communication and fundraising department at a certain large charity if they were actually supporting their own cause. No more than 22% actually did. So I asked myself, what would my grandmother say of this?
I got to tell you a little bit about my grandmother. She was (she died a couple of years ago) every charity’s dream donor. A very religious woman, who always felt that other people who were in need should be taken care off, helped when they needed help. So she supported many charities, her local church being one of the most important ones. Over the years that added up to many thousands of euros …
I always kept that in mind making my decisions when I worked at the Protestant Church; would I be able to explain to my grandmother that the money she gave all her life was well spent. It kept me keen on not spending money haphazardly, be it for huge mailings or for a cup of coffee.
Now let’s go back to the 22% who said yes, or better, to the 78% that didn’t. They gave various reasons for not giving money to the charity they work for. Let us go over them and ask my grandmother for her opinion.
“I already work here!” “Well, that’s your choice”, she would say, “It’s your job and you get paid for it, don’t you? And if that pay is not to your satisfaction, maybe you should find another job?!”
“I need the money myself.” “Are you serious? And you’re asking the blue rinse brigade for money? You’re actually saying that all these o.a.p.’s like me are better off than you? Maybe you should find another job!
“I believe our organization is not doing a good job spending donors’ money!” Somewhat agitated she’d reply: “Then go out and do something about it and in the meantime stop asking other people for their money. And if that doesn’t succeed, maybe you should find another job!”
“I already give so much to other charities.” By now she would start laughing: “You’re kidding me, right? You give to others but not to your own? That’s so ridiculous that I urge you to find another job!”
These were more or less the reasons people gave for not supporting their own charities. And none of them would convince my grandmother or did convince me for that matter. I honestly cannot believe that a fundraiser could go out and ask other people for their money, without himself giving. What do you say when someone asks you how much you give? Is there any reason for not giving?
I believe fundraising is passion above all. And with that passion comes dedication to the cause. And putting your money where your mouth is! I dare you reader: leave a comment and tell me whether you give to your own charity or not and please tell me why if you don’t!
Better yet, try to convince my grandmother. Or any other donor that happily supports your charity …