Thursday, March 18, 2010

To Give Or Not To Give

Currently, the Carlisle Family YMCA is in the middle of our Strong Kids Campaign. As we seek support for the campaign, the following tag line is used, "Your donation to the Strong Kids Campaign is one of the best investments that you can make in your community." In fact, that phrase is even included in my email signature tag. Is it true?

Statistics can be powerful tools of influence. The fact that the Carlisle Family YMCA gave over a quarter of a million dollars last year in financial assistance to those in need for memberships and program participation is significant. The assistance was provided with funds raised through the Strong Kids Campaign and the United Way. But, campaign goals and assistance totals only tell a piece of the story.

To give of not to give, that is the question. As you consider where you'll invest your charitable dollars this year, be encouraged to go beyond the research, the quantitative data, and the campaign marketing information. Find ways to witness the core, the heart, the mission of the organization that you're considering. Talk with the stakeholders. Connect with the participants. Witness the community that the organization represents and serves.

As you consider the Carlisle Family YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, be encouraged to stop by the George B. Stuart Athletic Fields on a Saturday and witness the hundreds of youth and families enjoying CAYS soccer. Schedule a tour of one of our camp sites and hear of the stories of the thousands of area youth that have had memorable experiences at summer camp. Tour the YMCA and see the interactions in the Youth Lobby, the Youth Fitness Center, and the overall sense that the work being done in and through the YMCA is so much bigger than any individual program. I'm confident that if you do this, if you invest the time into getting a true sense of what's happening at the YMCA, the statement that, "Your donation to the Strong Kids Campaign is one of the best investments that you can make in your community" will ring true.

Thank you for considering the Strong Kids Campaign.

(For more information on taking care and caution in charitable giving, please visit