We know these amazing people.
Joan is the one who has been volunteering with you for… like ever.
She comes into your building day after day, she has organized small committee’s, rallied the troops to make sure the little (and big) events come together, she brings her friends to help out when they can.
She lives and breathes you.
She doesn’t actually give much in terms of dollars. Sure – $10 here. Maybe $5 another time… She is the most dedicated fan of your cause and your charity that you don’t know.
Now Jane… Jane is a mom of three grown kids. She has worked hard her whole life and now spends her time doing crafts in preparation for the busy craft season around Christmas. She is also desperately trying to keep up with the flood of mail and telephone calls she gets.
She thinks she gives to about 30… maybe 35 charities a year with some regular occurrence. She’s not sure – she just knows that so many need help. They all need the help.
There are a few who she gives to monthly – she thinks… again not positive… so many…
In some cases she’s discovered a strange thing – that the best way to get a charity to stop bothering her, is to give them a donation. On the downside, it seems to bring even more knocking – or putting their labels in her mailbox.
She is one of the most caring of the people in this world that you don’t know.
Finally we have Mary. For the last 9 years, Mary has walked in your event.
Her Mom, Aunt and sister have all suffered from the cancer you intend to help cure. Every year, she tirelessly asks her friends, coworkers, neighbours and family for their support – last year raising an amazing $2,167 for you – but more importantly, for her mom, aunt and sister. She does it for them.
Yes, she got the t-shirt, the jacket, the coupons and brochure. But that’s about it. Aside from an email asking her to give a monthly gift because the work you do is so amazing.
She, in the last 9 years, has likely walked the circumference of this earth in support of the work you do – she has done more for you than you’ll never know.Joan, Jane and Mary are the wonderful people who make this world go round and regardless of how they are treated (or not treated), regardless of how they are ignored and not acknowledged, regardless of how much they are forgotten, or treated like a ID number… they love you.
They love you, like a mom loves their child. They want nothing but the best and no matter what you do, will always be there for you.
Forget everything you think you know about fundraising.
Put a call into Jane and gush some thanks, say hi and ask Joan about her thoughts while she serves the coffee and for God’s sake, don’t drop Mary into your direct mail acquisition stream.
Throw a century long celebration for Joan, Jane and Mary and repeat it when you are done. Care, love and nuture these wonderful people in every way you can – THAT’s fundraising.
The defence rests.