For me, probably one of the worst tasks in the world. People, in my experience, are not particularly charitably minded. Or, maybe they are, but they like to and have mostly already picked their charity and I and my causes are probably not it. I remember as a Brownie, having to go door-to-door, asking people to buy Girl Scout cookies. Many, many people said, "No, thank you." And I might have appreciated the 'thank you,' but it was a discouraging business because it felt so personal. As a result, I have bought Girl Scout cookies or whatever else kids were selling every time I have been asked. And in recent years, no one has even asked. Ah, but that's a different story.
But, I figure, if it has to be done, if I have to ask people for money, best to start with friends. The first fund-raising for the new library came when I asked the P.R. quilt group to make and raffle some quilts to fund the renovation. I've been a member of the quilters since almost the beginning, 15 or so years ago, back when we made the Community Quilt that is in the main hall at the Community Center. One of the things that the group has always had a lot of fun doing was making group quilts that went to the community, so it definitely wasn't a hard ask to get them to make the four quilts they settled on. The business of selling the tickets was a little dicier: I think we'd all had more of the Brownie Cookies experience than I expected, but we managed to carry it off by holding an event in February, The Fiber Arts Festival, where we both sold a lot of tickets and picked the quilt winners. We had been selling tickets for several months previous to that, as well, including two very long outdoor sessions at the International Market in the winter where mostly Canadian shoppers were very generous in their ticket buying.
And, at the end of it all, The Quilt Group presented the Building fund with over $1,600.00, and that was the beginning. Over the intervening months, up until now, we have mostly been dealing with things other than direct fund-raising. Nevertheless, what with one thing and another, that $1600 has been joined by another $1800 worth of individual donations, and there we are with $3,400.
There is still a long road ahead. Jean Barrington once commented that if 500 people each gave us $1,000, we would be done, would have the money we need. I keep that in mind. I believe there are 500 people here who would certainly be willing to give us $1,000 each, but many of them don't have a spare thousand. But others do and I can't believe those people don't believe in libraries. So, I think to myself, $3,400: that's the equivalent of almost 3 & 1/2 people who have given us a thousand each. Only 496 & 1/2 people more to go. That's the mantra.