In 2005, Project Partners was assisting an independent school district foundation. The goals were to improve their community profile and raise more money. Then Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast. In their wake, the board volunteers, foundation and ISD staff hesitated to run a school district employee contributions campaign because the district staff had already responded very generously to both a call for help for hurricane victims and the annual United Way campaign.
"How do we ask for more from them right at this time?" was the question. It is a similar question raised by many after the tragedy of 9/11 and the 2008 economic downturn.
"Always continue to communicate your mission, engage others, and ask for support" was my answer then and is my answer now for any organization raising funds to support a critical mission in our community. Those organizations who do not ask, do not receive.
"A dollar today buys a priceless tomorrow" became the theme for the school district staff to support their own through a simple payroll deduction plan. The foundation's profile across the district was improved. Hundreds of new donors responded. The thousands of dollars raised helped position the program for future growth and success and benefited thousands of students within the district.
Don't underestimate a community of givers. Provide all a chance to support your cause. Continue to ask.