Fundraising. That’s what I do. It’s in my job title and I’ve been doing it for a while. It’s a word familiar to everyone, but in reality few people know what it means in a professional sense. It means, quite simply, packaging up your organisation’s work and inspiring people to support it financially. However, even some of those who work within the not-for-profit sector and who do have an appreciation of the skills and considerations involved, occasionally take a dim view of fundraising. It can be considered something not to be talked about unless absolutely necessary, something that gets in the way of the “real” work. A ‘necessary evil’.
When people say this they are, of course, half right. Necessary? Absolutely. Evil? Definitely not. Quite aside from the obvious financial implications of what we do, there are much wider benefits for organisations that invest in fundraising, like the fact that many people first hear about issues via fundraising initiatives, that as fundraisers we bring with us a whole host of new and innovative ways of thinking, and that thanks to our ability to concisely articulate their organisation's work, we can be extremely effective advocates for it in the world outside the office. When organisations integrate fundraising with the rest of their work, the benefits are plain to see.
I’m a fundraiser working for a cause I believe in.
I’m a fundraiser working for a cause I believe in. And yet despite this I still, occasionally, feel uncomfortable about using my skills to ask for money in support of Tibetan freedom. It’s also despite the fact that I know how effectively our supporters’ donations are used. In 2015 alone, Free Tibet placed more than 80 stories about Tibet in the international media. We helped organise effective protests to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s UK visit, called for the release of Tibetan political prisoners, exposed the Chinese Government’s influence over our school system, and provided detailed evidence on torture in Tibet to the United Nations in Geneva.
Asking with certainty
Maybe it’s a British thing? Maybe it’s not polite to ask? I don’t know. But at the end of the day, knowing what I do about what’s happening in Tibet, I’d be wrong not to ask. And when you realise this, any unease melts away. The simple fact is that Free Tibet needs your money now more than ever and regular giving – either via Direct Debit or regular credit card donation – is the most useful to us. We need it so that we can run bigger, more powerful campaigns. So that we can make those with power and influence listen to us. So that we can stop the torture and abuse that exists inside Tibet. So that 150,000 Tibetans can go home. That is why Free Tibet needs you to give. It’s simple. So without hesitation or a single misgiving I can ask: please join us and donate today. Thank you.
About the author: Josey joined Free Tibet as Fundraising Manager last year. When he's not raising money to support Free Tibet's work, he enjoys walking, playing the guitar and spending time with his family. He first became aware of the human rights situation in Tibet during a trip to India in 2008 which coincided with the Beijing Olympics and widespread protests in Tibet.