I experienced my first foray into fundraising today. I actually called the owner of a large company, explained who I was and what I needed. I needed 55 feet of metal roofing, 12 feet long. Somewhere deep within me, I felt like a school girl in front of the principal, explaining why I put syrup in a bully’s chair. Justified, but afraid I would get in trouble. I was greatly relieved when the owner answered me kindly, and said he would look into the matter and would get back with me in one to two days.
Next, I went to a local lumber super-chain store, and asked for donations for some building materials. Our organization has it’s 501c3 status which means the materials will be tax deductible, and I can arrange for a photo shoot with the manager for free advertisement for them. I know it makes business sense for them; I’m not asking for a big contribution. Most large companies have funds set aside for community involvement. I know this, but it doesn’t keep my knees from knocking. Could I can hear my parent’s voice in my head from year’s past saying, “We don’t take charity, and we don’t go begging?” I was just plain scared.
I was voted as Director of Development at our non-profit, and I know this is how things get done. However, I would prefer for us to be self-sustaining, and that is what we’re trying to do with this remodeling. We have a Victorian house on our property, and we are opening up the back, adding a porch, and having the building in which to hold open-air events like weddings, parties, reunions, etc. The money we make from that will go to run a teenage club for at-risk youth. A good cause, and I shouldn’t be timid about it.
I have prayed about it, and feel the Lord is directing me to places where funds are available for philanthropic work. I believe the right attitude is to go with humility, gratitude, and to be wise with the provisions we get. And we are. We have torn down a house and salvaged many of the boards for use in this new renovation. It was hard work, but we are saving good wood from the landfill, and using it for the “old ambiance” look in decorating. It should be unique and attract some attention, as it shows more creativity than money thrown at it.