One of the most common questions by people joining causes, meetings or movements: “How can I help?”

But most don’t like the real answer that most NGOs and non-profits want to answer: “Fund raise or donate.”

So most organization leaders will list generic things that won’t offend anyone, and refer indirectly to the need for money to keep the organization doing the great stuff that people praise it for doing. Many organizations fail because the people around them don’t recognize the importance of building an organization’s finances.

So it is so enjoyable when people set up fundraisers without being asked. On Wednesday April 10 in Virginia, Jason West organized his third fundraiser for TNKR. When he hears that I’m visiting his area, then he starts making plans for a fundraiser and will even leave work early to follow through. It is even more incredible considering that Jason is associated with other humanitarian organizations and groups. Helping to raise for another organization would be like a man feeding his neighbor’s family before feeding his own.

Plus, think about the people who show up at a fundraiser, knowing they are expected to donate, in addition to spending money on food and drinks. Of course, I wanted to take a photo with everyone, to thank them all individually, to let them know how much I appreciate their support. I don’t take any of this for granted, I have been associated with many organizations over the years, seen some fail, and I’m determined not to let TNKR die.

People will often apologize for not donating more. I tell them: “There are almost 8 billion people on the planet. Only a handful of them will ever support us. Even many who praise us enthusiastically will never support us financially. So whatever you gave us is more than what 99.99999% of people on the planet will ever give to us. So give what you can, and don’t apologize about it.”

It is quite an honor to be the guest of honor at a fundraiser. Some people came out for the food, that’s true, but a few of the people came out specifically to greet me, to encourage us.

Thanks to Jason West for making the whole night possible.

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