This letter, asking to donate cash ‘in lieu’ of participation in fundraising, has been doing the rounds of social media lately (full copy below). I personally have been ‘tagged’ close to a dozen times, as people close to me think I would find it hilarious.
Yes, I can see the humour in it. It’s a bit clever. There’s a good part of me that wants to find it funny.
There’s also a significant part of me that finds it a little unfunny, so I find myself in the position of debating whether or not to get on my high-horse about it. (SO much political correctness gone crazy these days!)
OK… I just have to do it. Here beginneth the rant:
Point 1. It’s disrespectful to volunteers!
This letter really paints us as the bad guys. That irks me. ‘How annoying’ that you keep asking me to buy gift wrap. ‘What a pain’ when you ask me to bake something to raise money for our community. ‘How dare you’ invite me to your fancy balls when I couldn’t be stuffed going.
I can tell you – the very last thing that volunteers should have to deal with is the ‘eye-roll’ factor. They really need to be valued for the amazing commitment they make for the benefit of everyone in their community, including your kids!
Those of us who organise the fundraising are every bit as busy as you are, but we somehow find the time and energy to volunteer because we see the powerful good that comes out of it. Appreciate us.
Point 2. Requests to donate cash in lieu of fundraising DON’T WORK AS WELL.
If it did, do you think we’d be spending countless volunteer hours planning, finding sponsors, delivering products, chasing money, selling raffle tickets, showing up over and over again if you were prepared to just hand over wads of cash?
Do you think we can achieve all these great outcomes for our kids just by sending home a cheeky letter? WE’RE NOT STUPID!!! (exception: this system may work effectively where the donation form is sent home as a part of fees, often at a private school)
Many schools already have a voluntary contribution scheme that sits alongside their fundraising. In my experience, those who contribute are often the same people who step up to volunteer. The opposite holds true also. In reality, I don’t think a clever letter would change things that much.
Point 3. Fundraising builds communities
Working together towards a common goal is an amazing way to pull a community together. This is a win for volunteers as well as a win for children.
Volunteers learn skills, make friends, and gain a real sense of achievement in watching their goals evolve from a ‘wish list’ to reality. Stronger communities are built.
Increased parental involvement in a school also has proven advantages for both academic and non-academic outcomes for children.
So you see – it goes way beyond the cashola.
Point 4. YES, donate cash, please!!!!
Volunteer groups LOVE to receive cash. Never feel that it’s not ok to hand over your cash for any reason. Dig deep – you know you want to 😉
Rant over 😉
The Fundraising Whisperer
The original image:
You might also be interested in:
- Thanking Volunteers
- So sorry you couldn’t make it…
- ‘Other’ ways to volunteer in fundraising
- 25 All-Time Best Fundraising Ideas