“Why should I donate to this place you work for?”
It’s a question that comes up quite often when fundraising for the nonprofit that employs you. I answered it all the time when I was in substance abuse prevention and helping to run a food shelf, and I’ve been asked a couple times this past week as Franklin Homestead & Carriage House began its end-of-year fundraising campaign.
In the interest of saving everyone’s time and saving folks the trouble of hearing me rattle on and on, I decided I’d put this piece together to answer that and other questions I’ve been asked.
Q: Isn’t $15,000 a lot to raise in one month? Shouldn’t you have started earlier?
A: Large organizations bring in that amount weekly, even daily in some cases. For a place like the Homestead & Carriage House and a small town like Franklin, VT, it sure feels like a lot, though. But it’s what we need to raise.
As for timing, yeah, it would have been great to start this a few weeks or months ago. But 2020 has been an ongoing attempt to herd over-caffeinated cats, and it took up to now to get the fuzzy felines into their kennel. A month is what we’ve got, and we’ll do our best.
Q: Why hasn’t Franklin Homestead & Carriage House done fundraising campaigns in the past?
A: That’s easy. Because fundraising wasn’t part of the organizational model then. Now, out of necessity, it is. Ideally, it would have been great to find our footing with a couple of smaller fundraisers before going all out, but, again, those dang 2020 cats went and made things difficult.
That said, while we didn’t conduct fundraisers per se in the past, we’ve always happily accepted unsolicited donations. Fundraising is simply the other side of that coin.
Q: Why do you need to raise $15,000?
A: At Franklin Carriage House, we charge service fees to cover the three daily meals we provide, as well as cleaning and laundry services. That work doesn’t do itself, of course, and we pay dedicated, 24-hour staff to do the job and do it well. What we charge for service fees does not cover their actual expense, but we strive to keep costs affordable for our residents, who live on fixed incomes. Combine that with the increased wages our board of directors approved at the start of the pandemic, and that’s how we wind up at $15,000.
Q: Why should I donate to the place you work for?
A: Hmmm … where have I heard that before?
You should donate to Franklin Homestead & Carriage House because our residents and staff deserve your support.
The people who live here do exactly that. They LIVE here. Aside from the services we provide, there is little difference between our folks and the residents of another apartment building or suburb or city block.
Our residents thrive and struggle, laugh and cry, hope and fear. They get along one moment and bicker the next. They hope for snow and complain that it’s cold out. They wonder and worry about the pandemic. They’re an awful lot like everybody else.
It’s just that they need a bit more help.
Some who make their homes at Franklin Homestead & Carriage House have been around for a decade or so. Others are relatively new. A few residents grew up in town or the surrounding area, and others are from elsewhere.
Somehow, they’ve all ended up here, under our roof, during one of the most difficult periods in modern history.
Same with our staff. They could be working anywhere, but they are here, working various shifts, showing up on holidays, facing down a virus that seems hellbent on making life miserable.
But our employees don’t care. They go out of their way to put smiles on faces and make hearts a little lighter. It’s a heck of a thing to see.
That’s why you should donate to the place I work for.
Q: Do you like fundraising?
A: No. But also yes.
Under the best of circumstances, asking people for money isn’t easy. In the midst of a global pandemic, when so many have been and remain out of work, it’s gut wrenching. But so are a lot of things that are necessary.
And this fundraising campaign is necessary.
However, I said that I’m a bit conflicted about fundraising. That’s because it feels really good when donations come in. Donations mean that somebody raising money on our behalf made a connection with someone, and that connection led to the act of giving. And knowing what’s on the other side of the fundraising – the people it will impact positively – makes it all worthwhile.
To donate to Franklin Homestead & Carriage House's fundraising campaign, please visit https://www.fhich.org/donate or send a check to Franklin Homestead, Inc., at 142 Homestead Drive, Franklin, VT 05457. Thanks!