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Sharing is Caring    

         One of the things I like about living in the Pacific is that Pacific Island cultures emphasize sharing.  I think Pacific Islanders coined the term, “Sharing is Caring.”  I also believe the “Sharing is Caring” culture of Pacific Islands is compatible with the fundraising work of a nonprofit or NGO.

         The work of a nonprofit employee is hard, with long days and often underpaid.  When I finish a day of working with a nonprofit, I go home feeling good knowing that I made a difference. I shared my energy and time and made a difference. I believe most of my colleagues feel the same way about their work. Pacific Islander nonprofit employees and volunteers are the best of the best.  

         As a nonprofit consultant in the Pacific, I am often asked to help with fundraising.   Usually, after a few questions, I learn that the nonprofit does not have a giving program in place.  Instead, they rely on grants and corporate giving. When I ask how come we are not asking for donations from stakeholders and community members, they often tell me. “I cannot ask others for money it is against my culture.”

         Yes, it is natural for us in the Pacific Islands to be timid about asking for a donation.  And yes, it is part of the culture not to beg or ask things of others.  However, island culture also teaches us to share. This is where “Sharing is Caring” comes in.

         I believe fundraising is a form of “Sharing is Caring.”  What I mean is when I ask somebody for a donation I am sharing that feel good feeling that I naturally get every day when I work with a nonprofit.  That same good feeling I mentioned earlier that allows me to go home at night and sleep at night knowing I made a difference. 

         Since I care, I want to share. Hence, I ask for a donation. The person, I am asking to donate, regardless of whether the contribution is large or small, now has an opportunity to be a part of the greater good.  They can go home at night feeling good knowing that they too made a difference with their donation.  If they can’t donate, I also helped them see that they are important and that I care enough to share the feel-good feeling with them.  Thus, asking for donations for the nonprofit that I care about is showing that “Caring is Sharing."  July 18, 2018