“Give, but give until it hurts.” – Mother Theresa
“Don’t give until it hurts. Give until it feels good.” – Anonymous development trainer
Fundraising makes my skin crawl. I really dislike asking others for money, and yet having a longstanding association with non-profits has always landed me at banquets, dinners, and breakfasts waiting to hear that clink on the glass that says, “Now it’s time to pull out your checkbooks.”
Yesterday was the day of the auction for my daughter’s school. I hadn’t bought a ticket since I was expecting that I would be volunteering, and I wanted to check out the lay of the land in this first year as a school parent. It ended up being a good call because my family was still sick from this persistent bug we’ve all been trying to move on from. I seemed to be regaining my strength first, and I was glad to get a chance to get out of the house for a while. I helped set up the silent auction stand and then ran to get cough drops, only to find my husband and son curled up sleeping on the couch while my daughter wandered around looking for something to do. I decided to stay home and get everyone into bed before leaving back to the auction that was already, by this point, in progress.
It was exciting to step into the event in full swing. People were dashing for desserts. The auctioneer was revving up the crowd gaining more and more dollars for the school. (70% of our PTSA budget comes from this event, and that budget covers a lot of ground: scholarships for after school programs, sponsoring the school garden and Earth project that I manage, supply budget for all the special events that take place over the year, child care for meetings, and much more.) This event was swinging. It was hardly a stodgy “wait for the ask” event, and I’m glad I saw what it took to pull off on the day of the event. I’ll definitely help with the planning next year and I’m already crafting a list of people I want to sit at my table.
Do you contribute to charities? How and why?
- Rich People’s Idea of Charity, Salon.com
- Not Very Giving, NYTimes article on charitable giving to wealthy public schools
- IRS rules on charitable giving