Give the Opportunity to Give
Yesterday was “Giving Tuesday.” It’s a new idea that started as a way to remind people after “Black Friday” (aka 8pm Thanksgiving) and “Cyber Monday” that the season is more than just about shopping. According to thegatesnotes.com (yes, that Bill Gates), “Over 1,000 charities, community organizations and businesses in the U.S. have banded together to promote [Giving] Tuesday as a day to give back, and to encourage people to give more, give smarter and celebrate the spirit of giving.”
My friend and fellow United Methodist, Laila Umpleby, gave me a chance to participate in Giving Tuesday. And, she made it easy. Laila is CEO of Make-a -Wish Oregon and posted a brief note about Maddie Lauer on her Facebook page. 14-year old Maddie died from thyroid cancer in November but not before getting her Wish granted to go to Hawaii in April. Her peers also voted her Homecoming Queen in October, the first time such an honor was bestowed to a freshman.
Laila asked that her friends participate in Giving Tuesday through Make-a-Wish so that other Maddies could have their Wishes fulfilled. Laila hoped to make $1,000 through her on-line request. She has raised $2,410 so far.
Why was she successful?
- She told a compelling, personal story
- Just a couple of clicks and a donation was possible
- And perhaps most importantly, Laila didn’t apologize for asking for donations.
Too often we make decisions for other people about their giving. You’ve heard or said it yourself: “How can we ask? Didn’t we just ask a month ago?” “You know the economy is bad, we shouldn’t ask for money now.” “Won’t they be offended if we ask again?”
Don’t decide for other people what they can’t give. Give the opportunity to give. And leave the rest to the nudging of the Holy Spirit.
P.S. For those who care, Bruce Springsteen did not disappoint last Wednesday. Three hours and 15 minutes of pure awesomeness. He could definitely have a second career as a Pentecostal, social justice-loving United Methodist preacher.
And, don't forget, if you'd like some helpful feedback, send me your Christmas appeal letter this week! Send it to: email@example.com
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.