Just because I volunteer for orphaned girls in Kenya , it doesn’t make me a good person.
I mean that.
One of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced since I began co-leading a fundraising campaign a few months ago is when people are reluctant to get involved because they don’t want to appear to be saying “lookie lookie, I’m a good person!”
It’s an understandable feeling, don’t get me wrong.
But I’m gonna vent for a bit — volunteering or fundraising doesn’t make you a good person. It’s a good thing to do but it doesn’t make you a good person. In fact, you can fundraise and kinda be a jerk about it. One of our fundraisers in New York is using the tagline “Give some money. Don’t be a dick.”
And I like that.
I like it because it doesn’t try to make you gooey with sympathy. It just calls you out — no matter how bad things are in the US economy, you can still spare $20. Give up one night’s dinner out. And if you can spare it, so can many of the people you know. They just have to be asked.
Co-leading this campaign from Lesotho has really sucked sometimes. People are difficult. Collaboration takes patience. A six-hour time difference between me and the most of the team has meant long nights and conference calls in the wee hours of the morning. And I hate it sometimes. So there, I feel like saying that already makes me a not-good person. Who can hate raising money for 32 orphaned girls who desperately need a new home? Me. That’s who. I do love these girls crazy madly deeply, but I’m not doing this campaign just because of that. It’s just something that needs to get done. And I”ll probably never want to lead a campaign again. That doesn’t make me a good person (although it does make me appreciate the people who fundraise for a living).
Neither are you a holier-than-thou, do-gooder by asking for a few bucks from people who can spare them. So, hey, the next time a friend or a colleague asks you to join a fundraising team, just give it a shot — especially if the cause is something you connect with. All you have to do is send a few emails to everyone you know. And don’t gush.
Okay. Glad to have that off my chest.
And now, here’s your invitation — Give some money or Join my Team. Don’t be a dick.