Posted by David Hablewitz
Please visit my official Donor Page to help the YMCA kids
This time of year I am normally helping out at my YMCA with their Partners With Youth campaign, sitting in a phone bank with other volunteers, calling people in the community asking for donations to help their cause.
This is a charity that helps provide funding for kids whose family can’t afford to put them into programs like before and after school care, swim lessons, or summer camp. In some cases this care is vital in making it possible for their parents (or parent) to be able to go to work. In other cases it makes it possible for kids to get to continue in those programs while their families get past a brief challenging time, like unemployment. One thing I like about this program is that it helps people right here in my neighborhood and community. Also that they are so efficient with the money. Over 95% goes directly to the need. I have been giving to this charity for many years. Then a few years ago, I found myself on the receiving end. My daughter has been going to the Y summer camps since about age 6. She just loves it and it would have been hard to tell her one summer that she couldn’t go. Fortunately Partners With Youth was there for us.
That time has past, and since then I have been able to resume contributing my time and money to the program. This year my business has been very successful. But my work has taken me on the road a lot and with all the travel I have not been able to help out working the phones to call for donations. So instead I will leverage what small influence I have in social media to try to help these kids. Please visit my official Donor Page and make a contribution. Even if it is just $5, it makes a huge difference. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” How to I make my donor goal? One dollar at a time. On behalf of the kids you will help, I thank you!
Posted by David Hablewitz
Which delivery method do you think has the greatest impact: Face-to-face, telephone, or online? Certainly face-to-face allows you to deliver the most personal message, but the web allows for a much broader reach. Phone calls are somewhere in between. So here is the challenge…
I am a firm believer in charity. I feel it is important to give back to the community. Over the years I have been helping with the YMCA Partners With Youth (PWY) campaign. This fund provides scholarships to families in need so their kids can participate in activities like swimming lessons, summer camp, or after school care. We get to help kids of single parents, parents who have lost their jobs, or many other financially stressful conditions. I know of one kid in particular who was quite a truant, always getting into trouble and usually dragging his friends into it too. One year, thanks to the PWY program, he was able to attend a leadership summer camp. Not only did it get him off the streets, but it brought out his natural leadership abilities. He ended up becoming a camp counselor and a positive influence on many more kids. It’s all about paying it forward.
In years past, during the month of February, I have spent my Wednesday evenings in a conference room at the Seattle Times building across the street from the Northshore YMCA with dozens of other volunteers making calls to friends, family, past donors and even complete strangers, asking if they would like to donate. We work as teams of about 10 people each, in a friendly competition to see which team can raise the most pledge money. The room is filled with energy as everyone makes campaign calls from their cell phones. Honestly, this is tough work. Very few people feel comfortable making cold calls to strangers and asking for money. I will admit, as outgoing as I am, this is especially difficult for me. I can stand in front of an audience of 1000 people to give a presentation, but it’s all I can do to make these phone calls knowing most people will reject you and some will be downright rude. I found myself at times hoping no one would answer the phone.
So this year I’m trying a different approach. It’s time to put social media to the test to see if I can reach more people in a more comfortable way and make a bigger impact for the kids via my online presence than I would making phone calls. I think this will work well because there is no pressure. People can take their time to think about it, they can give as much or as little as they want. If you would like to help, please visit the donations page for details. If you don’t want to donate, but you would still like to help, please share my message with your online connections so others will hear it and possibly donate.
It’s the power of small contributions by many people. I donated $100 myself. For some people, $10 is all they can afford to give. Others donate $500 or more. But even if it’s only $1, that’s fantastic. It moves us a step closer to the goal. Many employers will match your gift, effectively doubling your donation. Many people opt for the monthly draft contribution method so they can painlessly turn a small donation, like $5/month for 10 months, into a big donation of $50. (If that is something you want to do, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can have the YMCA staff will set that up with you. The donor website can’t handle that type of payment.)
So please take a moment to check out my donation page at the YMCA website, read more about how this campaign has helped change kids’ lives, and make a pledge and/or share the link on your favorite social media website.