Teach this failed fundraiser what makes your heart go pitter patter. And your credit card go swipe. Most of all, help feed hungry people!
I work at a truly fantastic non-profit, Bread for the City, which does a multitude of things you should go to our website and read about because they are incredible. I have the privilege of watching my coworkers do six impossible things before breakfast, seeing lives changed in ways big and small, and waking up every day inspired.
Of course, all non-profits need money, and on that front, I am little to no help. I'm not super skilled at asking for money. Over the course of my 24 years I have tried and failed in many a school-sanctioned fundraiser.
- 3rd Grade: Selling candy bars for Catholicism (aka my private school): This should have been so easy. Who doesn't want candy? And it's ONLY ONE DOLLAR! But I was too embarrassed to ask my neighbors, all my friends had their own variety pack of world's best bars to sell, and local gas stations weren't looking for a new supplier. I ended up putting one box in my kitchen that only my parents ate. I raised the lowest amount in my class. I was also the only Lutheran.
- 6th Grade: Gift wrap for nature camp: I really tried this time. I walked door-to-door in a bitterly cold Midwest winter practically begging my neighbors to buy double-patterned, extra-thick holiday wrapping paper. Only half of them answered their doors, and the majority of them already had wrapping paper. I didn't argue; that made sense. My mom and grandma bought a couple rolls of wrapping paper and I didn't even make it to nature camp because of a giant blizzard.
- Freshman Year, College: My first work-study job was working for our Alumni Annual Fund. I worked one shift, told everyone I talked to that I completely understood why they couldn't donate money, cried at the end because I felt so pushy, and was quickly reassigned to a desk job doing data-entry - a much better fit.
So I never learned (or pointedly avoided) what, it turns out, is a marketable professional skill: asking other people for money, flat out or via over-marked goods (this makes me ill suited for a myriad of careers.) However, my cause this time is far more worthy than new plaid uniforms or higher education (argue amongst yourselves) and our development team assures me that the most important part is asking. So here I am, asking. Don't worry though, I come bearing gifts.
Anything goes. I want to know what it takes to get you to donate money. My adorable 8-year-old mug, pathetic pubescent begging, and sympathetic telemarketing schpeel got me nowhere. So it's your call. Donate whatever, ask for whatever.
Basic ground rules:
- Nothing illegal. (Most likely. Law is complicated. Find me a loophole and I'll see if I can fit through it.)
- Nothing that violates my basic moral code. (I'm a professional do-gooder for crying out loud.)
- No permanent damage. (Obviously I won't physically maim myself. But I'm also a little vain and I won't shave my head.)
- Don't be rude. (If you donate $1 to Bread for the City and ask me to take you out to lunch, effectively cancelling out your donation, I'll do it. But I won't talk to you at lunch or ever again.)
Donate the amount you feel is appropriate, then email or facebook message your request. That's it! Shock me! Wow me! Ask away! Want cookies? I'll bake them! Want to be serenaded? I have an excellent singing voice when other noises are present. I can't knit, but I'll learn! I'm scared of scissors but I'll fashion a piece of jewelry out of them and wear it! That's a little rude, but I can take one for the team. Of course, if you want to donate merely for the warm and fuzzy feeling of helping people that need it, that's lovely as well. Just help Bread for the City keep doing the GREAT work that it's doing! Look forward to hearing from you!
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1525 7TH ST NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20001
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