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Posts Tagged ‘how Generation X donates’

Crowdfunding & Giving, Gen X Style

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Recently, I received a letter asking for a donation to one of my 4 alma maters (I won’t say which one–in fact it was more than one, but I’ll pick on the latest).  ‘Tis the season.

The most recent was pretty generic.  It was a thank you letter, along with a card that has various increments on it and I can designate the gift to a specific fund or other fund (but I’d have to know which fund it was that I wanted to fund…it wasn’t like there was a menu of funds, nor what they were actually funding.)

This is the part where I share that I don’t like to give blanket funds to ANY organization anymore–alma mater, not for profit, or otherwise.  For me, I want to support specific projects or causes that I know have a direct impact on another human being.  Not sure if this is a product of being Generation X, being obsessed as a child with Choose Your Own Adventure books, being skeptical about the world post-law-school, or some other deep ego issue (we all have issues–myself included), but for me, giving needs to be specific.

For example, dear colleges and universities (and for that matter, NFPs) – why not put out a list of SPECIFIC needs you have?  Give me a top 10 list of what you need…one charity did that I encountered awhile ago on a bookmark – I thought that was brilliant!

For example, if students are working on a project at a university and they’re raising funds to develop it – give me a link to an online portal of student projects in which I can directly choose to support.  If you’re a school, give me a stream of things you need on your homepage.  That way, I can CHOOSE MY OWN GIVING.  I want a crowdfunding portal of projects and causes from my non profits so I can choose to fund what is important to me.  Make me a backer!  Let me have a shark tank-ian moment!

I can support the white coat ceremony by buying a white coat, or I can help students publish a book about pharmacy, or I can help fund students going to Haiti to help provide assistance to those in need. (I’m just giving examples here from my own little world.)  The bottom line:  I want a tie of my dollars and cents to a specific cause or project that I care about.

So–NFPs and colleges/universities, are you reading this and listening?  Don’t send me any more blanket hand out request letters.  Instead, build some tools and put some thought around ways I can contribute to the university in specifics–so I know that my money is going to support causes I actually care about.  Otherwise? You’re wasting your time and money, not to mention my time and money!