The Needs of the Many; The Efforts of the Few

The individual student efforts aren’t in question. Those who participate in various sales activities get a percentage of their sales credited to their student accounts. It’s clean and effective.

The question is around the group-wide fundraising events: rummage sales, car washes, sponsorships, etc. Some parents feel only families that are actively involved in the activities that raise money for the whole band should be credited. There is some merit to that thought – why should someone who makes no effort be rewarded?

More than two decades in the world of nonprofit fundraising has taught me that there are never enough people in this world actively doing fundraising. Oh, that everyone involved in an organization would actually be involved in the organization and help raise money for support. Unfortunately, it just ain’t so. How many times have we heard the complaint: “It’s always the same old people doing the work!”

The sad truth is that in many organizations, it is the work of the few that benefit the many. Whether it’s fundraising, public service, volunteering or military service, it is often the minority who are making the world better for the majority. Those of us who are in the minority should consider ourselves lucky that we have the ability to do what others are not doing and that the world is a better place for it.

Fair? Nope. So what? Fundraising is like public speaking. Most people are afraid of it. Doesn’t matter what form it comes in. People don’t like asking other people for money – regardless of the cause. For these people, there are other ways they can be involved: equipment detail, feeding the band, whatever. Not everyone can be a star but almost anyone can earn sweat equity. Allow everyone to contribute the talents they can. Deal with special exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

By definition, a band is tied together, unbroken, united for a common cause.

For those who are fundraising: Thank you. You are a blessing. Thanks for sharing your talents. As long as everyone is doing SOMETHING, let’s apply the funds equally across the band.

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