Anyone who attempts to raise funds for a good cause soon learns that you reach the same goal if many supporters give a little, as if a few people give a lot. Although it may be tempting to fundraisers, it’s a mistake to shoot for many giving a lot. And people don’t respond kindly to shame.
Every time I’m asked to support my local radio station, I respond. It’s an excellent public service broadcaster with interesting programs and good speakers; it’s informative, entertaining and of good quality. I really value our radio. How could I not support them? I send my check for twenty dollars several times a year in this good cause, knowing that others do too, for the benefit of all.
This time however, I am not responding. The station is becoming more vigorous in its requests for funds. The options I was offered on the donation slip this time were to include a contribution of “$2000, $1,200, $1,000, $500 or Other.” Just tick the box. My funds don’t run to that level. I routinely contribute a few hundred dollars a year to charity in general, thinking that appropriate on my modest pension when there are so many other calls on my funds. Regretfully I turn down requests almost daily because my budget won’t stretch that far. If I won the lottery I would luxuriate in largesse. As it is I’m constantly apologizing on the telephone to professional fundraisers for my lack of support to a myriad of worthy charities, simply because I can’t afford to be that generous. Once I have sent a contribution, I’ve noticed their insistence and my discomfort escalate. And before you say it, I am already on a “No call” list. They get through like bees invade a keeper’s suit.
If Local Radio thinks in terms of those lofty sums, they don’t need my paltry offering. But they are misguided. There are a lot of us muckle-makers out there no doubt feeling similarly slighted.
This time that pearl of wisdom is my contribution.