Tuesday, November 6, 2007

'Tis The Season for Fund Raising

I've already received newsletters from the Lighthouse and the Pacific Center, with the "giving" form attached on the last page. Second Harvest and Doctors Without Borders are back. The closet at the food bank is filling with USPS flats of mail so we can make our annual request for donations.

Tomorrow I'm going to my high school to pick up my "mailing supplies" so I can send fund-raising letters to my former classmates and to my friends. As a member of the Wallenberg Community Foundation, my main task is to help raise funds for the WCF, which in turns puts that money into education-enrichment materials (not textbooks, which the WCF believes should remain the responsibility of the school district) for the school. With public education fiunding being what it is, a lot of public schools are having to turn to foundations outside the school as well as their PTAs to help provide all kinds of things to the students' school environment (from teacher grants to foreign language tapes).

Wallenberg does an amazing job as a public high school with something like 90% of seniors going onto college the fall after graduation. I support that mission and as much as WTH has changed since I was there, that mission still in place. Because of that mission, I don't mind writing the letters. The first time I sent out letters I didn't like it, but doing the letters makes me feel like I'm doing my "job" as a board member. I know how many requests for money wind up in my recycling bin, so I'm not attached to the letters anymore. We, like all charitable organizations, know that a personal appeal from someone the recipient knows is more likely to result in giving.

My former classmates get a handwritten note, and while that's the hardest part, once I've written one I can copy it. I didn't go to high school with most of the people on my "friends" list (to borrow a phrase) and those letters are harder to write. Again, I figure out something. Last year I even sent a fund raising letter to my neighbors. I knew they didn't have any connection to my high school (which is in San Francisco, after all), but I figured after three years of our buying fund raising crap from their younger daughter I could hit them up.

I have to put them in the mail Thanksgiving week. I have the rest of this week and all of next to figure out how I'm going to ask people from the class of '86 and my non-Wallenberg friends to give money to the Wallenberg Community Foundation.

No comments: