Wednesday, July 22, 2009


"A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses."
-Chinese Proverb

More often than any comment I receive from volunteers is concern about asking one's friends for a donation. Often the concern falls into one of two catagories:
  • "I am afraid I will insult the person by asking for a large donation."
  • "This is a lot of money to ask for considering the person doesn't get much."
Handling the first point, it is so important to remember that asking for a donation is not insulting if done thoughtfully. An thoughtful request is one that is:
  • Reasonably researched. As best it can be determined, the request should be optimistic, but reasonable - that is within a realm of possible success.
  • Respectfully requested. A proper request for support does not demand, it asks a person to consider a thoughtful gift - a specific amount requested. Asking one to, "consider a gift of xxx to our Learning Center," is never insulting.

As for the second, please consider the truth in today's quote. Indeed, philanthropy is about giving money away, generally without expectation of any tangible benefit. However, most generous donors do report a significant benefit - one of deep satisfaction. This is the "fragrance" of giving.

It is critical for any volunteer to remember that giving does provide a benefit to our Learning Centers and our donors. This necessary aspect of our responsibilities can be a wonderful experience if you keep these points in mind.


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