Helping Others Listen to the audio version of this message:

A few weeks ago I asked Step by Step Fundraising newsletter readers to send in examples of their organization’s fundraising letters.  While I thought it would be interesting to see some of your letters, I had no idea what awaited me.

My email box was flooded with responses from all kinds of non-profits, both here in the US and all around the world.  In fact in the past week or so I’ve read through over 100 of your direct mail letters.  Some of these might even make it into the second edition of the Sample Fundraising Letters guidebook.

While my eyes are a bit tired from staring at the computer screen, the overwhelming feeling that I am actually left with is pure admiration.  You are making a difference in the lives of so many people.  Your work with children, the elderly, those with disabilities, advocating for animals or the environment…it is just amazing.

With no doubt, it takes a lot of work to make such an impact.  You may be volunteering your time to help with the cause.  With little or no training you might be asked to chair a fundraising drive.  Ever been there? Then there are those who are actually on staff for a non-profit.  But we all know that you don’t go into charitable work for the big paycheck!

Sheryl sent me a note that particularly brought this idea home:

I am just reading your email now because I am backed up with working full-time, working on my non-profit and raising 2 teenage boys on my own. Being successful and accomplishing my goals related to my non-profit organization, KidSounds, is my top priority. I do not have a fundraising letter to show you. I need your book desperately to use as a tool to start writing letters and receiving donations. The deaf children in Ohio are depending on me.

Thank you,
Sheryl M. Silver, Ph.D.
Executive Director, KidSounds

Maybe you can relate to Sheryl.  Advocating for a cause, even one you are passionate about, can be difficult and time consuming.  But even through the tough times, know that by helping others you are making a positive difference in the world.  And just in case you haven’t heard it lately, let me just say on your constituents behalf, thank you.

Image courtesy of The Foundation for a Better Life

Posted on 23 October 2008

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