What if Fundraisers Could Balance the Federal Budget?

Everyone’s talking about big government and taxes. Do we increase taxes? Do we cut the military? Do we cut the safety net for the poor?

A fundraiser’s answer to the budget crisis would be restricted giving.

Nonprofits tackle these tough budget issues every day. But nonprofits must keep their stakeholders happy. If you want your gift to pay for computers. No problem. If you want to pay for a scholarship program. No problem. If you want something named in memory of your daughter. No problem.

Why can’t the federal government do the same?

Why can’t the federal government accept restricted gifts?

I think folks forget why we pay taxes. If fundraisers let donors lose sight of why they give, our charities would surely suffer. What if we could choose to support what matters the most to each of us?

I know my husband would want all of his tax contributions to support first responders. Put his name on the side of a shiny new fire truck and he’ll put you in the will.

I have a friend who would single-handedly support our treasured national parks given the opportunity.

Another who would make sure our defense remains strong.

And I’m certain my mother would have wanted her taxes to support medical research.

The sequester reminds us of what exactly our taxes buy. The sequester means:

30,000 teachers and school staff could lose their jobs
800,000 defense employees could be forced to take unpaid leave
Small businesses would lose $540 million in financing
4 million homebound seniors wouldn’t receive meals
A fundraiser would make sure we raised enough money to support those programs.

What if donors ~ oops I mean taxpayers ~ could choose how they want their taxes to be spent instead of incessant battling over the budget.

Just a thought on how each of us could use our power for good.

Use Your Skills in a New Way – Volunteer Today

I was studying for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential a few years ago and was struggling to get the volunteer and education hours required for the application. I had been fundraising for many years and had started to back off on attending education sessions. Plus my work (and nieces and nephews) had taken all of my “volunteer” time. As I filled out my CFRE application it became clear to me that I was in a rut, working for my organization, but not my field.

I was an active participant in the AFP DC Law and Justice Affinity Group at the time so I reached out to a few of my colleagues from that group to ask how I could get more involved. I was and continue to be surprised by all of the wonderful volunteer opportunities right here in our chapter. I started as a volunteer on the education committee, and later joined the board, served as co-chair of National Capital Philanthropy Day 2015 and this year I am vice president of education for the chapter.

I share my journey because I’ve gone from not using the many benefits the chapter offers to being fully engaged in just a few years.  Now I’m putting my time – and money – right here in my community, working to improve the field I’ve spent my career promoting.

There are tons of ways for you to get involved as well.  Let’s think about it in terms of skill set:

  • Are you good at the art of the ask?  AFP DC could use your talents to secure sponsorships for the Bridge Conference and National Capital Philanthropy Day, two of the chapter’s signature events.
  • Are you social media savvy?  We need volunteers to get the word out about our education programs by tweeting from the sessions. And we need you to teach others how to do it.
  • If marketing and communications are your forte, then consider volunteering to refresh the chapter website, develop promotional copy for e-blasts or write articles for the newsletter.
  • If you’re an event person, there is great demand for your expertise.  This year we’ve got 38 education sessions to pull off, plus the Bridge Conference and National Capital Philanthropy Day.
  • Are you a whiz with numbers?  We could certainly use this skill set on the Finance Committee.  If you’re more of a data geek, we’d love to have your help with data analysis for the chapter.

These are just a handful of ways you can get involved as an AFP DC volunteer.  Click here to learn more.

**As previously featured by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington D.C. Metro Area Chapter