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You Make Our Hearts Beat

A Fundraiser's Love Note to You, Our Donors

 

Hi, my name is Andrea. 

I’ve been Agros Interim Director of Development since April of this year. I’ve been a fundraiser for more than 20 years. It’s my life calling. I believe asking people to give is sacred. So when the email receipt for your gift shows up in my inbox, I pause, look at your name, note the gift amount, and do a little skippy dance

I imagine your face.  I wonder about your story. 

Yesterday, a donor made a gift of $5,015. I wondered why that number. There’s no doubt a great story there. People have so many deeply personal reasons for giving to this work (and for giving, period). When we get your gift we are thinking about that, we are wondering what the story of you is that is behind your gift.

When you make your gift, you literally set off a party. My wonderful, intrepid team of development professionals here in the office sends celebratory emails saying things like “Yeah!” “She is so wonderful.”  “Wow. Wow. Wow.” Your decision to give really – no really – it makes our day. We scream. We shout. We jump up from our desks. We interrupt the meeting with, “Did you see this?!”

I think people like you probably minimize the effect you have. Maybe you think in this mechanistic world, your gift gets processed and out spits an acknowledgement. All in a day’s work in the nonprofit megalopolis. You might think you’re one of many people just like you. (People like you tend to think their behavior is no big thing).  

Here, I must set you straight. You are so very important and special. You don’t have to support this work, but you choose to. You are under no obligation to pause your busy life, to get your credit card or consult with your financial advisor to contribute stock, or cut a check. You decide to.

And that choice says something about what you care about. It says something about the person you are and the person you aspire to be. It connects to your story, maybe your whole family’s story.  We honor that.

Whatever your story, whatever sparked you to act, we are deeply grateful. Whatever it has taken, whatever it takes for you to stand up for the families on their Agros journey out of poverty – We thank you!

Working at an organization that is facing off with entrenched poverty, I have learned that it weighs on you. Some nights I lie in bed thinking about the families who place their trust in us. I worry. If we don’t meet our goal, how will it affect them. I endeavor to bring my A game because it feels like a matter of keeping my word to these families.  

The Resource Development team will tell you we have a policy of helping one another be better. We don’t let things slide with each other. We admit our mistakes. We coach each other when we are not cutting it.  If we are not successful, the stakes are high. We know that. We feel that. 

As high stakes as it is, though, we are not interested in “getting you to give.” We want your gift to be an expression of your values, of your hope for real and lasting change, and of your desire to spread joy in this world. We want your choice to give to be something you do wholeheartedly.

We talk about you. We see you as our friends, as people who “get it.” Agros donors, in our humble opinion, are the smartest, the most thoughtful, and the most eager to learn and grow walking along side us. You teach us things every day.  You know things we don’t know. Your memories and stories fill us up. We know you pray for us and we can feel that. You are helping us imagine a bright and exciting future.

So, on this last day of 2015, the Resource Development team of Agros – Anna, Kelly, Oksana, Nekita, Tobin, Austin, Carly, Guillermo, and myself -- wishes to extend to you and yours our very best wishes for a wonderful 2016.

Thank you.

   Andrea John-Smith

     Interim Development Director

 

 
 

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 10:00 AM
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