hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Monday, January 14, 2013

Volunteer Fundraising

I wouldn't want anyone to think that I just go to Fire District and Community Advisory Committee Meetings.  There are many other meetings to go to here in Point Roberts.  You can, if you're a pretty accomplished quilter, go to the Quilt Group meetings (if you aren't pretty accomplished or at least very ambitious, you may get discouraged about the gap between what you can do now and what you'd like to be able to do).  There's a book club.  There are other Districts that hold meetings and I've been urged to start attending the Water District meetings.

But you can't go to them all or you will become a crazy person because they all have some of the dysfunctionality that is endemic to small town activities, even as they are a good way to meet your neighbors and accomplish some good work, or at least some work.

I've probably come to the over-the-edge with the New Library Fundraising group which meets only once a month, but is threatening, at least for me, to become a non-stop meeting as long as I'm awake.  When I joined the group, about 18 months ago at its inception, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I'd never done any serious fundraising before, as long as I didn't count my door-to-door Girl Scout Cookie Days.  At the beginning, I imagined I would help to keep records or some such thing.  I've done some bookkeeping now and then; I worked as a professional writer for decades; I imagined that I had some skills other than actually asking people for money that would be useful.

And, as Little Red Riding Hood sings in "Into the Woods":  "I know things now, many valuable things, that I hadn't known before."  For example, if you are not willing to ask people for money, you're unlikely to get any money, no matter how noble your goal.

So, I've spent the last year, especially, learning how to ask people for money.  And it turns out that they will give you money, or at least many of them will, if you ask.  Sometimes you have to ask more than once.  Sometimes you even have to ask your family to help you out.  Your friends are often ready to help.  Sometimes you have to listen to people say, "NO" or "No, thank you," and you have to learn to smile and walk away.  You can't just treat the donors like ATM machines, so the asking has at least occasionally to have some kind of built-in variety, some thing for the donors to enjoy about the experience in addition to the idea that virtue is its own reward.

This year, we are starting off with a Fun Run/Walk at the Golf Course in February, and a Fiber Arts Festival in March that will include a quilt show and a giant raffle for four different quilts, and a romance writers workshop in late March.  And more.

I don't want to use this blog to write too much about the New Library Building Fundraising.  But it's an important thing that is happening on the Point.  In the past year, the members of this community have donated around $100,000.  We need five times that much, and this year the community will be working on that.  We really need a new library with enough space for the people who use it to spend some time in it.

If you haven't donated (or if you have) and have some charitable giving funds in your bank account, here's how to donate:

To donate, make your check payable to:
Whatcom County Library Foundation,
and add, on the memo line,  ‘Point Roberts Library Fund’

Drop your check off at the Point Roberts Library during its open hours,
or mail it to Friends of the P.R. Library, PO Box 970, Pt. Roberts, WA 98281.  All donations made by check are eligible for IRS charitable deduction status.

And I'll write you a personal thank-you letter.  Although, try to remember, too, that Virtue really is its own reward!

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