Save the Date

December 28, 2006

Okay, the truth of the matter is, when it comes to fundraising, I’m crap and everyone knows it. Itgarlic_naan.jpg makes me terribly uncomfortable. Even when I try to ask, I’m falling all over myself trying not to sound like I’m asking, which, as my dear friend Sue has advised me, means I’m crap. Thus far, despite my meager effots, five people I adore have made extraordinarily generous donations that are beyond what I could have hoped for and more than I deserve. They have inspired me to get serious, and broaden the reach, in the hopes of receiving some small contributions from a larger number of people. So…

On January 14th, I’ll be hosting a fundraiser at Passage to India in Lawrenceville, NJ. It’s our favorite casual Indian restaurant, and we thought it might be a fun way to involve friends and family where you’ll get something in return. So, here’s the deal. Knowing that there are football playoffs late that afternoon and evening, we’re planning a lunchtime buffet shindig — arrive between 12 and 1pm, and for a donation of $30 or more per person, you’ll enjoy steamy naan and savoury dal, the company of family and friends, and you’ll be helping to defray the cost of my service in India. Cool? If you think you can join us, please reply here or send me an eMail, so I can work on the head count for the restaurant and include you in the official eVite next week. Hope you can make it. There’s a rumor that JennyB is preparing a spangled performance…



  1. You are, in fact, crap at fundraising 🙂 What you have to understand, and I’ve said it many times and in many ways, but you need to take it to heart, is this. The fundraising makes you so uncomfortable that you spend too much time tripping over your own tongue to explain how uncomfortable it makes you, which could, ironically, make people uncomfortable.

    When you’re at your best is when you get beyond that, when you explain the whys and the hows of what you do when you get there and why and how being involved in this work affects you. When your heart speaks, people can’t help but be entranced by the caring, the loving, the selflessness, the compassion, and the beauty that they find there. If you get past the discomfort and share with them the spirit and the light that takes you to the place where you find yourself when confronting this work, they won’t be able to help but respond.

    I know you will say that what you get out of it is enough motivation for you, and that’s amazing and lovely, but I hope that also know that what you go to do will mean the world to many many people. You have the quote up that says we can not do great things, we can only do small things with great love, but if read at face value, I think one can miss an important truth inherent in it. The small things that we do, done with great love, can change the world in ways that matter. For the people whose suffering you ease, the world is a less lonely place, a place where beauty exists, a place where their faith in humanity, their faith in love and grace, is justified. And that. to my mind, is a great thing.

    When you go to do these works, and people hear of and share in your enthusiasm for them, sometimes they feel the pull to want to share in them more literally. And when circumstances don’t permit them to take as drastic a plunge as you do, the chance to help you realize this change in the world, in the lives of these people, is the next best thing to being there. Being able to share in your adventure through this site and through a donation of time or money can make a change in them as well, or perhaps allows them to be a little closer to something they would like to do, but, for whatever reason, are unable.

    So don’t apologize for fundraising, just share with them the love and delight you have for (and take in) this work and let them decide whether and how they can help. Be proud of the work and the change you bring about, though you could never be as proud of it as I am of you, of that I am certain. I don’t know to tell you how much I love you, how much you’ve changed my own life, and how proud I am of you, now and always, but I hope these words are a start.

  2. That’s all well and good, but let’s focus on the deliverable here: Buckets of Fabulous Curry. Consider your funds raised and count myself and Mrs. Goodyear in, but do warn the establishment in question that I will most certainly eat my way through thirty dollars worth of their always excellent and delicious cornucopiary. So, it’s win-win for us and for them, not so much. Huzzah!

  3. As a professional fundraiser myself (and one who would have NEVER pictured herself in such a position) I have some words of wisdom….read Damon’s post again 🙂 No really, you have to retool the way you are thinking about fundraising. You are not asking anyone to do anything that makes them uncomfortable, on the contrary, you are inviting them to an extraordinary opportunity to be a part of something great, something they can feel good about. I believe that sharing of wealth, talent, and time is GOOD for all people. We are all blessed with so much more than we need, and sharing of that is good for OUR spirits…so you are actually doing us all a favor with your solicitations 🙂 Beyond that, you don’t really need to ask aggressively or be pushy, like Damon says, just sharing your enthusiasm about the project and inviting people to get involved is enough. They will if they want to and they won’t if they can’t, either way, that’s okay. Just don’t forget that by involving all of us here, you are actually enriching our lives too, and by reading about your experiences, we will be exploring our own life possibilities and that is truly a gift to us.

    Now I’d love to hop on a plane and join you all for an Indian feast but I think a better use of my $$ will be to go to your site and make a donation…so…bye! 🙂

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