The Job You Do
Almost before the seas had subsided from the tsunami-ravaged southern coast of Asia, Doctors Without Borders had airlifted more than 60 tons of medical, surgical and sanitation equipment to the area. The American Red Cross was mobilizing to support its global sister societies. Lutheran World Relief workers were handing out food and blankets. And Oxfam had sent 60,000 liters of clean, fresh water.
Those are just a few of the organizations that leapt to action when the devastation became clear. The response from the international-aid community was immediate, and it was as overwhelming in its compassion as the Indian Ocean had been in its fury. If you were quiet enough, you could hear the crystalline sound of a world in sync, coming together to lend a hand, its heart, and millions upon millions of dollars.
And just underneath the radar, you could detect the whispered fears of fundraising professionals from around the world: “Now what?”
While charitable organizations emptied their pockets in a rush to do what it is that charitable organizations do, the development staffs that support them had to be wondering how they were going to deal with the aftermath. Would the inevitable surge of donations make up for the funds that were piped into the relief efforts? Would donors get tapped out in the months immediately following the disaster and decline to give later in the year?
Time, obviously, will tell. I didn’t bring this up because I presume to have any answers for you. But as I see pictures emerging of volunteers tending the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting injured and frightened children, etc., what I do have is an almost unspeakable respect for the job that the readers of FundRaising Success do. Without you, the funds for this massive effort, quite simply, wouldn’t be there. And with that respect, comes an equally profound sense of gratitude that, because of you, U.S. nonprofits are so solid, so well funded that they can rush to the aid of people thousands of miles away. I’m also prouder than ever to be a small part of the world that is nonprofit fundraising. And I just wanted to thank you ... for that, and for the job you do.