I have a confession to make.
As a fundraiser for 1MISSION, it’s my job to raise money to provide homes for families in need. On a typical day, I’m in meetings with corporate partners, on the phone with church partners, or out to lunch with small business owners. That’s what I do. And I love it.
But that’s not the confession. Here it is: in this line of work, it can be tempting to see people as nothing more than walking, talking dollar signs. And if I’m not careful, when I consider the magnitude of the need, I can slip into that mode of thinking myself.
And that’s not OK. It doesn’t align with my personal beliefs about the dignity of every human being, and it doesn’t reflect 1MISSION’s core commitments. At an even more obvious level, it’s just gross.
That’s why I don’t like to think about my work as a matter of “donor recruitment” or “organizational advancement.” Those are transactional and impersonal terms. Instead, around here we try to see everything through the lens of partnership. In the field, our team fosters partnerships with families earning houses. And in our relationships with donors, we are committed to demonstrating humility, open communication, and gratitude at every step.
Anyone who gives knows there is intrinsic value in doing good. And for most everyone who partners with 1MISSION, that’s more than enough. But we don’t want to do the bare minimum to keep donors around. We’re always asking how we can serve our partners better. We continually want to do a better job of expressing our gratitude.
That’s why our Supply Yard members get a special members-only t-shirt. That’s why Bikes Fight Poverty riders say, “This is the best-supported bike ride I’ve ever been part of.” It’s why our House to House partners get customized, branded resources to help them tell their story.
But partnership doesn’t end there either. We know we play a critical role in connecting our partners to the families in the field. So we tie every public donation to a specific family. And, once each house is finished, we send proof reports to everyone who’s helped make it possible.
Our partners aren’t just flashing dollar signs. And house recipients aren’t projects.
So this Thanksgiving, on behalf of the 1MISSION team and the families we serve, I want to say thank you. We’re grateful for your partnership. But even more, we’re thankful for you.