When people ask me what I do, the easiest answer is “I’m a fundraiser.”
This elicits varied responses with one of the most common being “good for you — but I could never do that.” When people try to envision themselves as fundraisers they simply think of how uncomfortable they feel asking colleagues for money, but I want to expand that view.
As a fundraiser, I get to see the best side of people. I get to see when people are generous, caring, and concerned — not only about those close to them but also our community at large. And this is not uncommon in my work. According to the 2014 World Giving Index, a comprehensive study of Gallup polls conducted each year by the Charities Aid Foundation, the United States ranks in the top ten nations in the world for citizens donating money, and we are first in the world of donations, volunteering, and helping a stranger are considered in unison (1). And I get to be a fundraiser here!
If people are going to give, then I as a fundraiser want to make sure their money is going to make a measurable difference. At United Way of Salt Lake we take our promise to change the odds for children and families very seriously. Every day we work with local schools, business, governments, and other nonprofits to align resources and bring services to where they are needed most. Best of all, we are seeing results and sharing them with those who donated to make change possible (2).
So the next time your boss or your employees ask you to run a United Way charitable giving campaign and you feel a moment of panic thinking of asking your colleagues for donations, step back and remember this: we are a charitable nation. People – our friends, family, and colleagues – want to give and want to make a difference in their community!
Let’s open pathways for them to be part of something bigger and to make meaningful change. Let’s make it possible for everyone to LIVE UNITED.
ˡ Charities Aid Foundation. (2014). World Giving Index 2014. Retrieved from https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2014-publications/world-giving-index-2014.
2 Promise Partnership Regional Council (2015). The promise of partnership: Aligning action for results. Retrieved from http://www.uw.org/our-work/reports-pdfs/2014-promise-partnership-brochure-vfmr.pdf