I’m often asked as a fundraiser if what I do is simply begging. The simple answer is no. As a fundraiser, we have one of the best jobs in the world: to inspire people to do something amazing.
I do love being asked this question though. One of the best parts of my job as a consultant is to have the opportunity to do some myth-busting. So let me share with you some examples of why fundraising is not begging.
Bursaries can change lives
Some people simply don’t have access to education, or any incentive to study, or the opportunity to learn more about something they care about. Bursaries give opportunity. They provide access, remove financial strain, and add to the growing list of reasons to study, rather than the reasons not to. In schools, it can also mean stability through boarding and, in some cases, safety. Bursaries help people. In many cases, those recipients go on to help and inspire countless others, and in some cases, change the world.
Sport brings people together
I remember fundraising for sports equipment and facilities back in 2010, and people asked me why it mattered. Two years later, I watched two club members become Olympic medalists. What they achieved was incredible, not to mention the millions of Brits who celebrated their medals, or the kids they inspired to dream big.
Then there is the research centre that is trying to find a cure for cancer. Or the academic trying to solve the problem of food security. Or the University mapping out climate change and its impact on the next generation. The international aid charity providing access to food, shelter, water. Fundraising changes lives.
And then there is the donor. The philanthropist. The person that wants to help. How wonderful to tell them they can, and that I’d like to explore with them how they can make a difference.
So no, what I do is not begging. It’s seeing a need, a challenge, a story. It’s finding people who would like to make a difference. It’s bringing those two things together.
-Becki Mckinlay, Senior Consultant