Small things are so often a portent of bigger problems. Regular readers of this blog or it's sister blog Behind the Button know that I started a company called Buttons of Hope that uses custom photo buttons to help people with their fundraising by putting a face on their cause. Mine is a small start up with a big ambition and mission ~ to change the face of fundraising. While the major charities have been thus far less than enthused about the idea I am making buttons for hundreds of people who are inspired and often share their stories and powerful testimonials here, here and even here.
So is this just all about Mike Gibbons' sour grapes - not at all and here's why. As I forge on making 1000s of buttons caring about each button, each story and each fundraiser as if they were the only one ~ the people who wear buttons crave to share their stories with someone who'll listen ~ the big charities are too often indifferent and I think missing a very BIG opportunity.
In December Buttons of Hope made a (albeit small) donation to a well respected national cancer charity**. I sent the following letter (below) with a few of the actual buttons and the $41 check. Today I received a form postcard with fill in the blank for date and donation amount (see below) good I suppose for tax purposes but given the nature of my letter I was nonplussed to say the least.
You might be thinking geessh I read all this way and basically some guy is ticked because his $41 bucks did not evoke "top donor" recognition? NO the point is this: I think non profits have out of convenience, necessity or both forgotten the little guy, the grassroots. More disconcerting for them, you never know if that little guy is in fact a little guy? This non profit had no way of knowing that behind the $41 buck donation is a guy who also started a cycling team that has raised over $270,000 for cancer charities the past four years! Small can be a very big problem for even big non profits. Indeed.
(those are my thoughts I would really value your feedback/comments on this especially if you are with a non profit)
This is what I received...