Fundraising As Love

on in Fundraising

Fundraising, done right, brings out the better in us.

I was reminded of this last week when working with an organization on “naming opportunities.”

This nonprofit advocates for services to recent immigrants, and is shaping the beginning of a capital campaign to renovate its space.

Of course, the opportunity to name all or part of the Center came up.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone came forward with $1m, we thought, and we’d call it the “Jack Torres Counseling Center” and be done with it?

But there’s another way, we realized, which fills the Center with love… 


What if every desk, every nook and cranny, every inch (within reason), was named in honor of some donor’s immigrant forbearers?

Those stalwart, courageous individuals who struck out for a new land, making our lives, our country, possible?

Wouldn’t that fill the Center with the energy of multitudes, the love and honoring of our ancestors who invested in the future so we could succeed?

Fundraising does that, sometimes. Gives us an occasion to recognize the sacrifices, the commitment, the generosity of others.

Because giving to the public good is, at its core, an affirmation of our commonality; a moment of investing beyond personal gain. And every so often, fundraising can offer the opportunity to extend the connection beyond donor and recipient; to include those who stand behind the donor’s success.

Imagine a room full of grandparents, parents, cousins, and others, via plaques representing their names – reminding recent immigrants of those generations that came before them. (And, by the way, reminding us all, in this political climate, how much of this country was and continues to be built by immigrants.)

The possibility for fundraising to serve as a moment to honor and mark that we stand on the shoulders of others – that we are all givers and takers – is awesome.

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