December 3, 2020
From Jack Doyle, Amergent President & CEO
Over the years, my dear, departed mother was the subject of my fundraising stories. Most all of them were true. This one today is about what she would have done if she had a DAF account.
Longtime friends know my first fundraising experience occurred the summer after my freshman year of high school. My high school advisor took a bunch of us on 10-week work visas to help run the dining room/kitchen at the Iron City Fishing Club on the Georgian Bay in Ontario. We were on a shoreline 26 miles from anywhere. No roads in, only a weekly supplies boat. No phones. Mail came in on the supply boat.
Halfway through the summer, I remembered to write home. This was my parents’ first experience with one of their children being away from home. I wrote on a postcard to my mother, “We jumped off a really high cliff today. When I hit the water, I went really deep. I watched my air bubbles rise as I swam back up to the surface. Oh, I need some money.”
She responded really quickly and sent the money, along with a long letter of how much she missed me and how hearing I was alive was nice—after all these weeks of not writing!
My first steps into fundraising were successful. I got her attention with an emotional story and asked for some money. Twenty plus years later, she showed me she had saved the postcard!
My mother and I discussed charitable giving all the time. She gave a little money to everyone!
She would complain about getting so much mail, but then she’d give to new causes.
One time, she called me to ask if I knew anything about a list of charities whose names she was keeping. I reviewed her list, and indicated they were all legitimate, some were new and had high costs she might read about in the news, but all were okay to support.
To which she said, “Good, because I sent them all money.” I asked why we didn’t have this call before she sent her money. She said, “Well, if you had read their letters you would see they needed my help right away.”
Hmm, I smiled and flashed back to my cliff diving “I need money” postcard.
So, what would Gramma Doyle do if she had a DAF?
- She would not send big grants despite being able to
- She would schedule grants to her alma mater (annual) and church (weekly)
- She would send grants in memory of friends and loved ones who passed away
- She would make grants to support medical research for all kinds of cures
- She would make impulsive grants to those who needed her help right away
- She was generous in helping her children and grandchildren all her life; she would play their birthdates in lottery picks (never winning)
- I expect she would schedule recurring grants to her favorite charities in her own style—in the months her children and grandchildren were born. Her monthly giving would be in the months most important to her.
a. She would enjoy giving recurring grants in the months of January-April, June and November-December
b. Unconventional, but these were months she’d never forget
- She wasn’t the monthly sustainer type just for your convenience
Maybe you have some donors who will enjoy the idea of making multiple, scheduled DAF grants in all months important to them? Personal values are important and inspiring donors to consider every charitable way they can act upon those values brings great donor satisfaction.
Hoping you receive many, many more recurring DAF grants in 2021!