Fundraising Isn’t About Money, but…
A suspicious word: ‘Fundraising’.
The first few things that come to mind when I think of it are bake sales, and frantic scrambling to gather as much money within a short time.
Such is the opinion of someone whose concept of ‘fundraising’ has been limited to its portrayal in movies and discussions in school. My mindset has been wired to believe that fundraising is exactly what its two root words “fund” and “raise” mean: providing a good or service in exchange for money that would be used for a perceived important cause.
However, there is more to fundraising. Fundraisers on a larger scale also have the goal of attracting new donors, and strengthening an organisation’s ties with its shareholders, beneficiaries, and donors.
It helps not that society has come to perceive fundraising as an avenue that can be manipulated and corrupted in favour of authorities and the powerful.
Sensationalised news headlines have corroded and tainted idea of fundraising and overshadowed its original intentions, which is to allow donors who wish to use their monetary assets to contribute to society in a way they deem most meaningful. The concept of fundraising is now ridden with myths and misconceptions, but here are exactly three reasons why fundraising is just as significant as volunteer work that involves direct contact with the beneficiaries in question.
Group Photo with our former president, Mr Tony Tan at Heartware’s Fundraising Gala Dinner 2017.
Fundraising suits society’s changing lifestyle
Fundraising is an excellent way to aid the underprivileged.
As we become increasingly affluent, there are also marginalised groups in society who struggle to keep up with ballooning prices as they have a stagnant salary or no means of a steady income.
An organisation’s fundraiser allows donors to connect with beneficiaries using the increased importance of monetary help. Donors can contribute in ways big or small; they can either pay to participate in the event or contribute to its preparations. With money as an important resource for organisations to provide their assistance and continue to remain in service, fundraisers are paramount in ensuring the smooth running and survival of communities that help society at large.
Funds raised help to sustain the organisation’s work in serving and connecting with the community. The above interaction between a Yio Chu Kang Secondary School student and a beneficiary from Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) was curated by Heartware Network in the form of a learning journey.
Fundraising attracts new donors
Fundraising is often elaborate and exciting; plenty of intricate details are designed with the intention of crafting an image of the organisation that is unique, attractive, and deeply rooted to its mission.
From exclusive insider activities limited to large corporations to informal public-friendly activities that carry a vivacious, energetic atmosphere, the way a fundraiser is packaged can play up qualities of an organisation that would appeal to its respective “natural constituency”. That is, an audience that gravitates to different organisations due to shared values and traits.
By further solidifying an image of an organisation or diversifying its brand, values that such fundraisers bring across will resonate with and draw in interested new donors who act as another promotional channel.
Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed a series of performances by flutist Ms Ong Yiting and pianist Joseph Frederic. Yiting is a 14 year-old student from Dunman High School, Heartware Network’s long-time partner institution. She delivered a mesmerising solo, which gave the Dinner’s line-up an intimate and soulful turn.
Fundraising strengthens emotional connections
Fundraising is centered around promoting a cause and mission to better society, and involves various groups of people who participate in various activities in the hopes of working towards a common goal.
Through fundraising activities, people exchange information and build bonds. They are reminded of the strongest similarity they share: a desire to help the community. When donors see their goals being turned into reality through fundraising, they are more willing to continue contributing and giving back to the community.
Beneficiaries recognise the empathy others have for them, and fundraising also allows volunteers to build new friendships and connections. If giving back to the community is centered around the human spirit and aiding society in any way you can, then fundraising is an avenue for all to recognise their own place and value.
Heartware Network is celebrating its 19th year of inspiring youth, developing community champions, and transforming lives by hosting a Fundraising and Thanksgiving Dinner! Themed ‘Heart Strings, Connecting Youth’, the Dinner will be held on 24th October 2019 at Furama RiverFront Hotel.