“My letterbox is full of guide dogs and children in refugee camps and blind people and endangered orangutans and Royal lifesavers (complete with budgie smugglers) and still you keep coming.
You keep asking me for money.
Don’t get me wrong. I like your cause. I believe in what you’re doing. But seriously, why so clingy? Why so persistent? There’s only so much a person can take.”
I hear you, people.
In fact, I work for one of those causes you sometimes want to break up with because our never-ending requests for money, like some teenager with an online shopping addiction, are getting you down. You can’t quite bring yourself to cut us off because either you can’t find our phone number or you still believe in us. (I’m hoping it’s the latter.) Please keep believing in us. We want you to know that we really appreciate your gifts, we understand that you can’t always give and we don’t want you to feel guilty when you can’t donate.
But here’s why we keep asking you for money.
- We ask because your money is doing amazing things. You’re part of a community who are changing lives.
It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that your financial gift, combined with others, has genuinely saved the lives of thousands of people. I mean, seriously. You should be quietly pretty chuffed with yourself! It’s given hope to whole communities, changed the future for children, allowed mothers to hold their babies in their arms when they would otherwise have died. You don’t bear the needs and pains of the world on your shoulders alone, but together with others, you’re helping create a world where that suffering is lifted. No matter the size of your gift, when you combine with others, it’s powerful. Thank you so much!
- We ask because the people we work with really, seriously need it.
We are not messing around when we describe to you the needs of the people with whom we work. Compared to the way we live, our partners struggle with challenges impossible for us to comprehend. War. Filthy water. Systemic injustice and corrupt politics. Crushing poverty. Disability without health care. Sometimes, when we spend time in communities, we think to ourselves: if our supporters saw all this – both the grind and the sheer grit of our partners – we would never need to ask for money again. People would simply give. But sadly, it doesn’t work like that. We are not routinely as generous as we think we are and the world is ridiculously unequal. The latest stats show that the world’s 63 richest people own more wealth than 50% of the global population. We ask because if we didn’t, that stat would continue to grow. Even you and I, simply having a roof above our heads, running water in our homes, enough to eat and clothes to wear fall into the top 15% of the world’s wealthiest people. Most of you know that already. But some of us need reminding.
- We ask because “if we don’t ask, we don’t get”.
Boil it right down and if we don’t repeatedly ask you to be generous, we simply don’t get the money we need. So we ask. And we ask again. Each time, our supporters open their hearts and give with a generosity that amazes us. And we are grateful beyond belief. Of course, we know that in continuing to ask, we risk tiring some of our supporters. But we continue to put needs before you because the needs are great, and miraculously, people continue to give. (FYI, all our financials are here.)
Here’s some tips to keep our relationship fresh (because everyone needs hot tips now and then!)
1. We hope you won’t see every request you get in the mail as an attempt to twist your arm for cash. We have no expectation that every person will give every time, but asking reminds those who are able to do what they can. When you can’t give, please use the material to get informed and inspired about the work. Pass it on to someone else or use it to pray for the people we’re writing to you about. We use environmentally friendly, recycled print materials, but we’d love you to recycle too and spread our material around rather than simply throwing it out – leave it in your church, your train station or your dentist’s waiting room! We don’t send you things you don’t need like bags, pens or stickers, but we hope you’ll use what we do send to stay connected to the people you support in knowledge, prayer and advocacy. This in itself is a great gift to our partners.
2. If you really prefer not to receive material from us in the mail, give us a quick call or email and let us know. But please stay in touch via email and through our newsletters.
3. Consider becoming a regular giver. This works best for our partners, who know they can rely on steady income instead of repeated requests for fundraising. And it works best for you, because you have the chance to develop some depth of understanding about the project and people you’re supporting. If you like, you can request only to receive material about special appeals and faithfully commit to one project as a Regular Giver. But remember, receiving our material can also keep you up to date even if you’re not able to give.
4. Think about other ways you can connect with communities who are benefitting so much from your support. You could volunteer or visit them through our InSolidarity trips. We have so much to learn from being part of the lives of others. Giving is a two way street.
Thanks for sticking with us. We hope this honest answer to your question encourages you not to feel guilty about your giving, and explains why we continue to ask. Please know that we take great care with your gifts and appreciate your generosity. Most of all, the people to whom you give appreciate it more than we’ll ever know.
Right now, yes, we have an excellent opportunity for you to give!
When you give to our Community Development Programs, we’re able to make your gift go up to six times as far because it’s matched by Government Funding. This makes your donation, whatever its size, much more powerful than usual.
Please consider making a gift before June 30 for the most impact. Donate here. And thank you!