Donor tips from a broke chick

I’ve pretty much always worked at not-for-profit organizations, and I’m so fortunate to have a great network of coworkers and friends in the not-for-profit sector.

While I work on the communications and marketing side of a not-for-profit organization, let it be known I have worked in development and fundraising, and I love working on fundraising initiatives. There are some truly incredible people in fundraising, I just don’t happen to be one of them.

But I do donate. Of course I do. You get that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with contributing to a cause. I’ve donated my time, my money, and my art.

No, I don’t have lots of money (see above re: working at not-for-profits). When a canvasser tells me that just by cutting out my daily coffee I could support their cause I think:

Joke’s on you, I already cut out my daily coffee to afford tokens to get to work.

As a donor, I don’t like automatically monthly contributions. I don’t. It doesn’t feel like convenience to me. I’ve got an old car. I’ve got an old house. I’ve already gone through periods where a bunch of things go wrong at once, and I’ve been faced with a pile of unexpected expenses. I don’t feel secure enough in my finances to promise you my future money.

I know today what I can afford to give.  I know before I stop to talk to a canvasser if I’m going to donate. I almost want to interrupt them mid-speech to say “Here, take my credit card.”

But I don’t. I let them finish before donating because I like spying on how other organizations script their appeals (evil laughter).

More than half of my donations this year have been through street and neighbourhood canvassers, all looking for monthly contributions to a specific campaign.  I’ve told canvassers I can’t commit to monthly giving, but I can give them a lump sum donation on the spot.

Really can’t part with your cash? Remember you can give an organization more than your money. Look in to volunteer opportunities. Consider an in-kind donation. I was delighted to donate a painting of mine to a charity auction. Work somewhere cool? Can your organization partner with a charity? Provide services?

Look a little outside the box and you too can find a way to be a donor that fits with your style and budget.

Do you have tips on how to give to a charity when dollars are tight?


3 thoughts on “Donor tips from a broke chick

  1. Pingback: Get them while they’re young | emmajenkin

  2. Pingback: Ode to my favourite fundraising event: The Tweed Ride | emmajenkin

  3. Pingback: Donor tips from a broke chick: Micro-philanthropy | emmajenkin

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