You work really hard to earn money to pay for the things that you need to get through this life. Why would you simply give some of it away to someone else? Why would you sign up for a walk or a run or a cruise or a dinner or an auction in order to give money to a non-profit organization?
Researchers will say that people generally give out of one of these two options:
- Altruism: a desire to help mankind without any expectation of personal benefit or gain
- Private Gain: the giver receives something of value from their donation
- They should feel good about the gift. Donations that are acquired through guilt or panic will pay the bills, but they drive people away from the mission instead of drawing them further into it. When you give a gift, whether it be $10 or $1,000, know that we are deeply grateful. Someone asked me the other day, "Will my $10 save Joel's Place?" with a laugh. Well, no. Not by itself. But this endeavor was never meant to be taken on by one person alone. His $10 will join up with the $10 gifts of his nine friends and we are looking at $100. A smaller donation means that you get to be a part of a larger group, all working towards a common goal. I do not despise the $10 gift and if that is where you are in your life, neither should you. (Side note: I do not despise the $1,000 gift either...just to be clear.)
- They should be building their character and integrity because they are living out their convictions. Want to know what someone truly values in this life? Look at their bank account. The money trail points directly to their priorities. Every time. Saying that you care for the poor without investing any resources into helping the poor has no integrity.
- Giving is good for the soul. It promotes compassion and gratitude. It crushes materialism and fear.
- They are making their community a better place, both now and for the future. This is the area that I think has the most tangible, external benefits of giving to Joel's Place. When you invest in Joel's Place, you are pouring resources into the young people who will shape our community. You want to lower alcoholism, suicide, and physical abuse in Interior Alaska? Invest in youth. You want to break the generational cycles of violence and substance abuse? Invest in youth. You want a spiritual awakening? Invest in youth. You want creative minds who will be able to bring new industry and vitality to our area? Invest in youth. You want certain neighborhoods of our city to get cleaned up and rejuvenated? Invest in youth. The key to the big picture problems that we wrestle with is not programs or policies...it is building up the next generation.
The Joel's Place April Alumni Challenge is about a week away from completion. We have about $2,000 left to raise. If you were thinking about donating to us because you feel sorry for us or you pity our kids or you have some compelling sense of duty that is driving you, I want you to stop. Before you give I want you to stop. I want you to give to Joel's Place because it benefits us and it benefits you. I want you to give to Joel's Place because you feel good and you grow as a person and it improves this community that you are invested in. When we have someone who gives out of that place, we gain more than just a donor. We gain a partner. A donor can help pay today's bills. A partner can help transform our entire organization from now far into the future.
If you have read this blog before, you know what Joel's Place is. You know what we do and why. You know our vision of seeing high-risk youth blossom and thrive in this world. Would you consider partnering with us as we finish up our April Challenge?