What fuels the vision of non-profits?
You’re right, passion, values, skills, faith, and all those intangibles fuel the vision. Dare we say, also money? I was naive for a long time to say that money is not one of them.
I've learned that only in the non-existent perfect world can we make non-profits, or any enterprise for that matter, function purely on gifts in kind -- donated food packs to feed the staff, volunteers and their beneficiaries; volunteered skills to administrate and manage their accounting among other many desk tasks; or pledges to pay off monthly utilities. If that is ever possible in this age and time, then there will be no hungry people in the world.
Giving is Social is not primarily a fundraising group, but it inevitably functions as a fundraising supporter to its partners. I very slowly had to acknowledge, with much reluctance, this inevitability of GIS’s role to raise funds for other groups and for itself.
When I started the movement, I had an immature conviction of staying away from fundraising. I didn’t want to deal with any money matters. I said, “I will mobilise people with skills and time and surplus resources other than money.” It seemed easier to ask for donations of items rather than money. It was less audit work too. I’ve quickly learned though that the groups we were trying to help all needed some form of funding. This also became apparent for Giving is Social’s own operations. I had planned to scale up fast, convinced my new team to run leadership and volunteer programs in the Philippines and Thailand in 2016 and to support more beneficiaries. Little did I know that costs will come up, and nothing can replace the need for money. Friends won’t cover costs to transport donations to beneficiaries all the time. Neither would they always offer their spaces for free for charitable events. Money is always a part of the non-profit’s life.
I share this because Giving is Social will have to embrace this role of supporting social work. And to do that, we can’t truly help exclusively of funds. We are campaigning for a few fundraising efforts of our partners here:
Yes, these projects need money! That means, vision is being pursued. Hooray! Thank you in advance for supporting!
- Joanna Blanding
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