Back in the dark months before the clocks went forward and the tulips arrived I had a epiphany. I needed some cash at my local railway station so I went to a cash machine. In the UK when you draw out cash from the wall you are now offered the choice to give to a selection of charities. Which got me thinking. I’m sure it’s great during emergency appeals but I’m not convinced many people will choose to give spontaneously in this way (certainly as a proportion of overall giving). Still I assume it’s easy to set up and ‘administer’. Anyway this isn’t a post about whether it’s a good idea.
Outside in the bitter cold (it was March) was someone huddled under a blanket with an empty coffee cup to collect donations. I guess he was getting the odd coin. I also suspect many passers by are put off, either not sure how their donation would be used, or even the suspicion that some people masquerade as beggars.
So there within yards you had two ends of our world – the money and the need.
Which is where we fundraisers come in. We persuade people to take out money from the proverbial cash machine and we bring it to the need in a way that the donor can trust. That’s what we do. Although I like to think we can do it in a way that people enjoy the experience of giving so much they want to do it again, and better still get others to too.
My key point is if you are a fundraiser you are here to help provide the missing link between those with money to give and the cause or mission that needs it. Without us fundraisers I suspect the flow from one to the other will not be enough to make real social change – especially for the 85% who voted cash machines are for taking money out.