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I just got a call from a fund raising organization for policemen here in Colorado asking for a donation to a fund to assist widows of police killed in the line of duty. Know that I have always had a great deal of respect and admiration for police and fire personnel. My father was a fireman and spent significant years of his life, before and after retirement, making sure that both fire and police had the best health care, disability, retirement and death benefits available and that a system was in place to continually review and upgrade those benefits. Certainly the fire fighting and law enforcement groups were there for widows, but there was no need for fund raising groups to take care of, even partially, the financial needs.

I know I’ve got a tainted point of view on this, but in anything if money isn’t used to leverage a better result, well, it’s not being well managed. Understand I don’t even have this idea on my business radar and because of the focus of my agency, would never put it on my radar. What about this idea? Instead of calling everyone in the world and getting a less than 1% success rate when asking for very small amounts of money, why not let the potential donors know that their money will be leveraged along with all other donations to buy life insurance for whatever group the money is being raised for? Instead of asking me for $50 which will end up, after administrative costs, possibly becoming $40 for a widow to use, go another direction. Use that $40 to buy life insurance which will certainly generate $2-$3000 in benefit.

I don’t know about you but I kind of like the idea that my small, potentially ongoing gift, will generate something much larger than what I’ve donated. Truth is that if I think a fund raising group is using all the tools available to make of most of small amounts, I am more likely to become a regular giver rather than having them try to touch me for $50 a year, or in the case of the call I mentioned in the first part of this post, as little as a one time gift of $12. Seriously?

Bottom line. Nationwide charitable giving is down. My giving is actually up, but very focused as I do my due diligence on who’s asking for the money and how they use it