The Down-the-Road Investment

on in Fundraising

I spent $250 on the future last week.

As in – brought someone to a gala as my guest whose husband had just started his own company. They were on a strict budget for a couple of years, she informed me: no gala tickets, no auction items, no outsized donations.

Not what comes to mind when you’re asked to “bring in the big spenders.”

But I knew this investment would pay off down the road – that she would remember me, and my cause, as more than a “fair-weather” friend.

It was worth every penny.

 This happened a lot around the time of the crash, in late 2008 – I remember dialing for dollars and getting someone who’d lost their job that very day.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Piggy-Bank.jpgWell I wasn’t about to press her when she didn’t know where her next dollar was coming from; instead I did a quick about-face and took her out to coffee. Where I ended up both reassuring her that she was clearly going to be employable in the future – and telling her (with only a little tongue in cheek) that when she landed on her feet again, as I was sure she would, that I’d come back at that time with my hat again in hand.

Which I did, successfully – a year later.

This is a people business, this fundraising/friendraising. Meaning, you have to know when to give as well as take.

When to bend, and when to postpone.

And when to invest.

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