A recent spate of complaints about the process of fundraising had me feeling quite flat until I reminded myself that, as fundraisers, our job is to promote the joy of giving. We provide an opportunity for kind and generous people to contribute towards fixing society’s problems, making life better for people and animals, and helping to alleviate poverty, both in New Zealand and overseas. We promote philanthropy and through those wonderful people who support our causes with their generous spirit, we change lives, we make a better world and we get up every morning knowing that we are making a difference.

I’m a firm believer that if we truly believe in our cause, we will move heaven and earth to ensure that our cause receives the support it needs. We owe it to the recipients of our service, the voiceless, the homeless, our animals, to do the best we can to raise sufficient money to fix the problem. It’s our responsibility to be cost effective in how we raise the money, but surely it’s also our responsibility to attempt to pursue our mission in the shortest time possible. If that means we have to invest in getting the best minds on the job – then I’m all for it.

We should not have to apologise for fundraising, nor for investing in fundraising. Fundraising allows a charity to act independently from government and state agencies and allows individual citizens to show they care about those less fortunate than themselves.

The situation which unfolded recently was unfortunate but we don’t want to let that discourage us or dissuade us from continuing to give people the opportunity to see the joy in giving. We definitely should be taking those off our mailing lists when requested, without delay. For the few that do request it, there are a few who will always ignore us but there are always hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who contribute over a billion dollars to the charitable sector each year.

I arrived at work this morning to find around 50 donation envelopes for one of our charities in the mailbox. One envelope contained a $500 cheque and one contained a brand new $5.00 note. Guess which one uplifted me the most?

The Joy of Giving

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