By Karen Grouten
Fundraising is certainly not begging. It’s just the opposite. Fundraising is first and foremost a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission. It is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision.
Since there is still snow on the ground, and my bike is in the shop getting a major tune up and new wheel set, I have been able to focus on that other side of the charity ride coin. Fundraising. That evil word!
As I keep sending my letters and emails to folks, I realize more and more that fundraising is not an easy task. It isn’t that it is really hard, it just isn’t easy. And quite frankly, I just don’t like doing it. I keep going over and over in my mind that if I don’t ask someone to donate, the answer is always no. If I ask, the answer might be no, but it could quite possibly be yes! But still, asking that question is tough for some of us.
Recently though, I received a fundraising letter from an old friend. The letter included a quote that made me see fundraising a little bit differently (and yes, I donated to his cause!).
“Fundraising is certainly not begging. It’s just the opposite. Fundraising is first and foremost a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission. It is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision”
– Henri Nouwen.
What the heck did all that mean?
Well, when I read it, I thought, yeah, I am letting people know what my vision is. That I see smiles on the faces of children that are scared, stuck in a hospital, sick, wanting to be well, to run, laugh and play like all the other kids. I see visits from Camp, laughter, fun and maybe for a brief second, that one kid can forget that he is different, that he is sick, and he can just be a kid. I am inviting people to share in my vision. I am inviting people to participate in something good, to participate in my mission of helping people.
By committing to participate in Angel Ride 2015, I am sharing the vision of Hole in the Wall Gang, providing “a different kind of healing” to seriously ill children and their families throughout the Northeast, free of charge, building a community that celebrates the fun, friendship and spirit of childhood, where every kid can “raise a little hell.” My mission is to raise the necessary funds to support the ongoing needs of Camp and the Hospital Outreach® Program.
I am inviting you into my mission.
Come along with me and participate in supporting the programs that will create smiles on the faces of these seriously ill kids. Support a rider, volunteer, or even better yet, join the team (not up for 135 miles? Do the one day ride and enjoy the party at the end). I will pedal with you, and together we will ride those hills. Together we can and will support the programs that are so vital in providing “a different kind of healing”.