Fundraising: A puzzle?

If your mailbox is like mine it is starting to fill up with requests for charitable contributions. ‘Tis the season for year-end fundraising, to the tune of tax deductible giving for donors.




Nonprofit organizations, everything from homeless shelters to dance companies, are asking people to give them money, 9. Not to mention political organizations with pages-long doom-laced narratives about how the world will go down the drain if we don’t thwart the evils schemes of the opposing party, etc.


This past Wednesday was my birthday- –


Mine, too!

And me. Fourteen, again.


The day triggered a memory of how many people in our town had the same birthday. At one time it was easy to find out who they were, thanks to a fundraising activity for the Port Townsend High School Band.


The Band Calendar!


Exactly, 9! Every year, in the fall (?) people would buy advance copies of the calendar and write down the names and birthdays of their family members on the purchase form. By the start of the year the new band calendar would debut. It was dead simple with one piece of artwork- –


A black and white photo of the marching band in their uniforms on the gym steps.


Precisely, Lily. The twelve months were stapled in a stack beneath and were torn off at month’s end. Each day listed birthdays of subscriber families. I learned that my horse 4-H leader and a boy in the class behind me were also born on November 1st (also my best friend but I already knew that).


And we can look through the whole calendar to find out everyone’s birthdays!


I remember being particularly interested to find out the birthday of whatever boy we liked.


Uhm. . .

Take the Fifth, 9.


Such a great memory, and I sure wish I had a picture of it to share. These days, with people being more protective of their personal information, I wonder if such a fundraiser would be possible. Back then identity theft wasn’t much of an issue, and our school levies had failed for a long string of years (thankfully not the case at present). In 1970s Port Townsend fundraising was critical to supporting extra-curricular activities. We drama students were constantly under threat of having the annual play suspended.


Another fundraising idea: Years ago a friend told me her father was high bidder on an auction item donated by Seattle Opera to another nonprofit: a walk-on role in an upcoming SO production! I think he played a butler. That could be a fun idea for non-professional performing arts groups as well.


Along those lines, I know of writers who have donated for auction (or perhaps sold outright) the right to have a character named after the donor/purchaser in an upcoming novel. A direct sale from the author probably wouldn’t be tax-deductible to the purchaser as writers, though typically underpaid, are not nonprofits. Plus, one hopes the naming right has value to the purchaser!

Fundraising: A strategy?

We could do that.


Interesting notion, Lily. I wonder if anyone reading this blog longs for a namesake in book five of the Big-G series? It seems things like naming rights are offered at higher donation levels in crowdsourcing campaigns. . .

Fundraising: A mystery?

Intriguing as that notion is, I’m mostly thinking of ways for nonprofits to raise funds, not those of us who dream of profiting from our art. It’s mind-numbing to sort through the year-end flow of funding appeals. I struggle to be disciplined and support a few instead of giving into the pleas of the many. Hard to choose between the preservation of rights, providing food and shelter security, supporting the arts, and supporting emergency medical relief. And the animals and the environment and. . .


It’s depressing to contemplate all the things the world needs to make it a better place. I try to balance my giving between things that I believe are critical to defend, things that inspire, and basic human, animal and environmental needs.


Because we need to live and have something to live for, right?


Pin It on Pinterest