Quick – name the last fundraiser you attended. Good music, friends, a fun auction, or a healthy walk through tree lined streets. Were there any nagging questions? How will they use the money raised? How much will be left over after the event expenses are paid? Am I setting an example for my children by attending fundraisers? Will they learn to be givers by watching my actions? The answer to your questions: yes, no maybe – not necessarily in that order.
Every so often there should be a place and time where donors can come together in a protected space to find answers. It should be a safe place for dialogue and learning together about giving. Alas, there are many fundraisers, but not a lot of places to learn together.
Donors gather frequently at fundraisers to support a cause they care about or the cause of a friend, maybe a family member. Sometimes they come together at board meetings where they provide governance to an important cause. They even volunteer and work side-by-side with each other.
When do they have the opportunity to come together to learn? Right now some of my readers are wondering what is there to learn; how hard is it to write a check? But some of you know there are unanswered questions.
Every time you write a check, volunteer or show up at a fundraiser the nonprofit will love you for your actions. Certainly the pat on the back feels good. The nonprofit needs as many like you as possible. They love all of you!
I dare you to accept a challenge. Find a group of donors where you can actually talk about the experience of giving, talk about plans for giving, ask questions and learn.
Such learning opportunities do exist. They might challenge your assumptions, create new questions. There are answers to your questions.
Your Philanthropy and the East Texas Communities Foundation are working together to create safe places for donors to learn. The next opportunity is coming April 22. If you’re in driving distance of Willow Brook Country Club and up to the challenge join us. Our speaker, Thayer Willis, will not disappoint you. RSVP soon.
If you can’t make it contact me and we’ll just talk about it.