How a Generous Donor is a Smart Donor

One of the things on my Yay! List was to be a part of the American Lung Association’s Austin Fight for Air Climb.  This year I am part of Team Stairanoia and on May 19 I will join others in wheezing my way to the top of the Frost Tower here in Austin. The event is a fundraiser; I have already passed the goal I set for myself. But this afternoon I learned about a donation match for today only. And the first thing I thought was: Yay! The second thought was: Damn! That’s a smart donor.

Fight for Air ClimbA generous donor decided to give $300,000 to the Austin Fight for Air Climb. But she (I assume) made it a generous and smart gift. Not only is the donor making the gift, but is using it as motivation to other fundraisers with two simple limitations:

1. Set a donation cap. By matching dollar for dollar up to $300,000, it is “first come, first matched”! Let’s all admit it, team fundraisers are competitions. I will admit that I set my fundraising goal to be “to raise more than” a friend who did the climb last year raised. (Blowing ’em outta the water right now, btw.) So as a fundraiser, I want to watch the donations made in my name to double – so I better get donors in there before anyone else, not when the $300,000 runs out.

2. Make it time bound. I need to get those donations in today because this matching is only available today. How awful would it be to not have people raise $300,000 and the donor not make the gift? For the record, I doubt the donor won’t make the gift. But she is presenting the chance to bring in $600,000 versus “only” $300,000 – so climbers and fundraisers better get moving!

When you have the opportunity to make a larger gift, think about how great it would be to make one that isn’t just generous but also smart. Your resources can motivate and impact the non-profit in ways greater than we can individually. We all know that working together we can have a greater impact – this is just one example!

It’s also a great motivator for people who haven’t yet started fundraising… and I will be honest, I’m a little concerned my goal may have to nudge up if my friend starts rolling in the donations today!

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