12.22 A Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

It’s been a long time since I wrote you a letter. I don’t even really believe in you anymore, but I figure, what could it hurt? At the very least, my good intentions and wishes will go out into the universe and have some sort of positive effect on society, right? I hope so.

There are a lot of things I wish for for 2011, Santa, and I hope that you can help me get at least a few of them. I’m only gonna ask for three, because I was raised not to be greedy and because I don’t know if you can really help me get the other things. But Santa, if you really do exist, I know you’ll do your best. So here’s my wish list for 2011:

– That many, many more movement-building nonprofits start to recognize the importance of doing grassroots fundraising — not just in order to raise money to cover their budgets, but also because it’s a tried-and-tested way of getting more people involved in our social justice work. We are going to need a lot of help in 2011 and beyond to do things like help save our planet from environmental devastation, improve public education for our youth, and ensure that more people have access to quality health care, and we can’t do it just by writing foundation grant proposals!

– That more people start talking about money and fundraising in their organizations. I’m so tired of people being afraid to talk about money—although I understand why they are—because then it holds so much power over them. Santa, can you help me help these folks understand that talking about money (although it can feel challenging and uncomfortable at times) is really another way of talking about and analyzing power? I would really appreciate it.

– That more people who do work in nonprofits—whether as volunteers, board members, staff or grassroots members—work together to figure out creative ways to integrate fundraising into the organizing campaigns, leadership development programs and other important work they are doing. Please, Santa, help these folks see that fundraising doesn’t have to be—and shouldn’t be!—boring, and that doing something as simple as a regular pitch for dues at monthly memberships meetings or making sure your sign-in list from your action gets put into your fundraising database can be easy ways to raise more money from folks in the community.

Ok, Santa, that’s my list. I hope you can help me out. I’ll keep doing my part and working with groups to help them get better at fundraising, but I need your help too!

Thanks and say ‘hi’ to Rudolph and all the other reindeer for me,
Yours Truly,
Rona Fernandez

Note: Rona is taking a short leave from the GIFT blog until summer 2011. We look forward to having her back then!