What Do You Care About?

This is part four of a series called The Disgruntled Donor.  I’ll be addressing four questions I wish nonprofit fundraising campaigns would ask me as a potential donor.  Here’s a link to the series intro.

White Check Mark on Blue by Kylemac on Flickr
White Check Mark on Blue by Kylemac on Flickr

I wish that fundraisers would ask me what I care about. I’m not looking to write them essays, but perhaps a few well-chosen check boxes could help them (and me) see if there’s any likelihood of my being a donor.  I further wish they would act upon this knowledge by either telling me how their organization is something I care about or by removing me from their list of people to pester frequently.

At this point in my life I’m most interested in supporting small, local initiatives that are focused on sustained improvement in quality of life.  Check, check and check.  Done.  Was that so difficult?

I realize I run the risk of sounding petulant and self-centered when I ask organizations working hard to assuage the world’s problems to focus on me.

My response is that I’m not raking in the dough in an unrelated endeavor and then carefully considering how I can philanthropically skim off and donate 3% of my accrued annual interest to reach as many less-advantaged people as possible.  That’s just not how I do things.

I believe in small projects that treat people like people, and as such I work for one and try to donate to a couple of others.  And if you’re not obviously that kind of project, you’re wasting my time and your money by half-heartedly flinging large mailings at me as a potential donor.

Please, actually engage or leave me alone.

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