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Invest or contribute?—you make the choice

Hardly a day goes by that I am not asked to contribute to someone’s worthy cause.  It could be a very personal and individual request as when a bright faced young person rings my doorbell and asks whether I want to buy her candy bar to support her school’s activities.  It can be broader request for a donation to a cultural, civic or social-service organization that does very good work in the community.  Either way, there is almost always the implicit or explicit material return—the candy bar, for example.

 

Blackboard "Value Proposition"

Everyone once in a while I am asked to invest.  That invitation doesn’t usually come with a request for money—at least not at first.  What the solicitor wants more than anything is my emotional investment in an idea, a worthy outcome, in the improved lives of those in my community.

 

Once I’m committed emotionally, once I am firmly convinced in my heart—not just my head—that what I am being asked to be a part of is something really worthy doing, the idea of putting my material resources into it to help make it a reality is a “no brainer.”

 

After making my initial investment, if I see my values being honored, the vision being realized I am not only willing but eager to help more.  I like to be appreciated; however, so I’ll usually hold back until it’s clear I’m wanted and needed.

 

It’s that way with investing.  When you see the right things happening, you want a bigger involvement.  Even then, it’s nice to be asked.

 

When you want me to invest learn who I am and what’s important to me.    Principle 4 of The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising® is Learn & Plan™.  Learn first who would support you by their values and interests and then plan how to reach out to them.  The rewards then belong to both of us.

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