Dear Lost Screws,
Today I wanted to ask you to join a conversation about philanthropy. Does it bother you that you are always asked for an extra $1 when you buy eggs at the grocer? How about being asked for $3 when you dash into the pharmacy for a birthday card and a pack of gum? Or the $25 ask for your friends’ 5k? Well, to be honest, I sometimes get annoyed. What’s interesting, at least to me, is that I say no to the first two and yes to the larger ask. Every time.
Because it’s personal.
Here’s why: Many years ago, I decided to stop saying yes to all those ‘with purchase’ donation requests. I did this because I wanted to focus my efforts to help one charity raise funds. My reasoning? Well, it’s based on the fact that in other facets of my life, I don’t do well if I try and do too much. If I focus on just a few things, I tend to do them very well and I can give those my best effort.
So, after a group of us decided to start a focused a fundraising effort at work, we went out and spoke to many local charities and organizations. In the end, we chose to support CHOP as an organization. On a personal level, I also wanted to make a bigger impact at one organization. I know and work with people all over the world and it turns out that most of them have a CHOP story of their own. Even if its “a friend of a friend had a child who…” that still counts for something huge in my book. That makes it personal. Personal to so many people that I know and that I care about – and I want to help the people I care about. That is why I, a single, childless, 36 year old woman made the decision to support CHOP.
That personal connection I keep referring to is also why I still say yes to the larger $25 asks that my friends ask for in their own fundraising efforts. Because I know them personally and I want to support them in what they are passionate about. I’d be remiss (and also a liar) if I didn’t also add that I make that donation with hope that they will be able to support my charity ask once a year. Not in return just because I gave them money, but because they want to help me on a personal level and they want to help support CHOP.
People fall on hard times and they cannot always reciprocate. I never get angry if I donate $25 to a 5k and they only give me $10 for CHOP. It’s about helping to support each other with what we are each passionate about and cultivating personal relationships as it is about any actual dollar amount. Even $5 can go a long way. Heck, that is how those convenience stores raise so much money in incremental $5 asks!
What is your passion when it comes to philanthropy? Do you give to those impersonal ‘with purchase’ asks or how about your buddies higher dollar amount asks?
If you would like to donate to my CHOP fundraising efforts, you can do so with this link right here. How about skipping your latte Monday and giving CHOP the $5? Better yet, make coffee at home all next week and donate the whole $25 you’ll save! You’ll get a link to download a PDF to keep for your tax write off at the end of the year. Use your rewards credit card to donate and really do it up – haha. Too much? Ok. Sorry.
Thank you all for reading.
Our goal is 60k – check our progress here: http://chop.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=widgets.200x420thermo&participantID=13581