The $10 donor
Social media is arguably one of the most powerful tools that mankind has been responsible for. In an instant, we can ask for prayers, share too many pictures of our animals, update family and friends on life, share vacation stories, and argue about politics.
One of the more powerful aspects of social media outlets and instant connectivity is the power of grassroots and micro-fundraising.
I have spent my short tenure as professional in the nonprofit sector. With the help of an incredible Board of Directors, many community members, friends and family I run a public school foundation in Oklahoma. As the only staff person, I am directly responsible for all aspects of the organization (think: administrative tasks, event planning, grant making, grant writing, accounting, marketing, etc.) We recently received a commitment from a community member to the tune of $250,000 for safety and security with one caveat: I have to raise an additional $250,000 from the community. As we began to breakdown what that process would look like, we decided to lean into our community and break $250,000 down into bite sized pieces and mobilizing our community via social media.
Here is what the breakdown looks like: We have close to 25,000 students and 2,800 staff members. With this many students, we can ask the community for what we call “Microdonations” that add up to make a substantial difference. If each family donates $10 per student in the district, our foundation would receive the $250,000 required to receive the initial pledge. Since we released this plan 30 days ago, we have raised over $80,000 with the average donation being well below $100. Big change happening, $10 at a time.
One of favorite quotes to use is by the magnificent land goddess, Miranda Lambert. In the song “All Kinds of Kinds” Miranda talks about all the different kinds of people it takes to make the world spin. From crooked congressmen, a human cannonball, to teachers, it takes all kinds of kinds to make this place work. Words will never describe how thankful I am for the donor that pledged the initial money, but I get almost the same exact feeling when I see the $5 donation come through. I imagine the $5 donor giving up her fancy drink that she treats herself to on Friday to make sure that we hit our goal. I think about the single mother that works paycheck to paycheck but has a heart as big as the six-figure donor. Each of them give in their own capacity. .
It takes all kinds of kinds.
No matter that magnitude we give in, it’s about our heart. The heart of the original donor is huge. They have worked their entire lives, done very well for themselves, and are giving back to the community in a way that will make changes that will affect generations.The same could be said for the $5 donor. The dollar amount is different, but the heart of the donation may be exactly the same.
I challenge each reader to give in a capacity that stretches them. Give to a mission that is close to your heart. If you own a business that does well for itself, give in a capacity that will change your community. If you work part time at a restaurant, give in a capacity that will change your community. Regardless of the amount, find a mission you believe in, share your treasure, and watch the world change. We need more of it.