Why We Do It
I was lucky enough to spend a few hours with my some of my godchildren last weekend. Two of them attend Dennis Elementary School. We perused the art museum, took in the gift shop, and posed for a few photos with their momma. Then we needed a treat, so we made our way to Shimmers for a sugar concoction. It was a lot of fun. Then I got the question that sometimes I really dread.
“What do you do exactly?”
How to explain this to a little girl? I hate to answer this question with “Oh, I’m a fundraiser,” but I guess that’s the simplest way to describe what I do. It just makes what I do sound so transactional, and I put so much effort into it not being that way.
So I explained to her that I raise money for things that our schools need but can’t buy. She still looked a little puzzled, so I whipped out another tool from my teacher tool belt and tried to explain it through something to which she could relate.
“Remember those bouncy seats you got in class last year?”
“Well your teacher asked me to buy them, and we got to say YES!”
I knew she loved those chairs because her teacher had the students write thank you notes to the foundation, and hers remains in the front of one of my notebooks.
Sometimes it is difficult to show donors the value in what we do when it isn’t something tangible like alternative seating or face masks. This is a problem that all fundraisers encounter, making it difficult to raise funds for the overhead that makes the tangible stuff possible.
But we keep innovating, trying to find new ways to show our worth to the potential donors, parents, teachers, and our reason for being, the students.
by Jennifer Seal
August 20, 2020