That is what it can feel like sometimes in the fundraising business. For someone like me who has never asked for money or support in any way since I was barely 17 years old, I have become quite good at it!! I have met and continue to meet some of the most interesting people and have heard fascinating stories since I have been reaching out seeking donations. In the three years I have been doing this it is uncanny how many people in this world have “a story” or a “connection” that is revealed in conversation about our mission of foster care. Everyone seems to know someone who has been in care, been adopted, has fostered, or has been in the system themselves, such as me. It never ceases to amaze me how it seems we are all “connected.” that “six degrees of separation” theory that does exist. I walk away saying “Wow, I never knew.”
Even though you are asking on behalf of a good cause, it can still be one of the most uncomfortable situations to be in. Not everyone is going to embrace you or your mission; as a matter of fact, at times, it feels like you need to defend yourself and apologize for your persistence. Even though I am asking for donations on behalf of our charity, our mission for helping kids in foster care, and wanting them to invest in our effort to help, it is still extremely difficult. What comes easily to me however, and I think comes through in these conversations, is my passion for what we are doing. It makes it easier to ask, but It is still hard not to take rejection, for whatever reason, personally. Sometimes, it feels like “just short of begging.” One of my board members said “My knees are killing me”…(LOL! )…and, I added, “My knuckles are raw!”
The fundraisers, the event planning, the “cold calls” and the grant writing process can be humbling, exhausting, and terrifying! It is stressful and nerve wracking and if you have never done it and you happen to volunteer to help a charity, then you will need to prepare yourself for possible rejection, some disappointments and even criticism. But on the other hand, excitement, elation, and extreme gratitude for the support received for your mission is what keeps you going. I am like the “energizer bunny,” I keep going and going and going! When you are successful in reaching out to those who help you make a difference, there is no greater endorphin than that. In our case, we are making a better world in the Texas Foster Care System.
It has taken three years of fundraising to raise the roof on our first home and to be up and running helping these children. That is what it is all about. That makes it all worthwhile. It is undoubtedly more challenging than ever in this world we live in today. With record rainfall this past year, a pandemic, and social unrest, we have had to be more creative in soliciting donations with adapting to new ways to meet, greet, and present our mission to the public. As another one of my board members has said “we are calling 2020, the year that didn’t happen!”
We remain committed to building our village at Geary Foster Foundations, one home at a time, one life at a time. Our fundraising efforts can be exhausting on both ends; our charity asking for support on one end and a potential donor bombarded with requests on the other end. I know that every charity organization is passionate about their cause, just like me. So, if you see me coming, know that I understand that I am only one of the hundreds of charities that are “asking for your support” and I get that it’s just as hard for you to say no to me as it is for me to ask. No worries, I know it is not personal!
So, yes, you will keep hearing from me 😊