Helping Nonprofits - Suggestion # 3

Change - Listening to the debate last night, the word 'change' was a constant echo and refrain. It reminded me of one of the simplest ways to finance a donation: gather change.

It sounds silly but we are surrounded by more nickels and dimes than we often realize. I once purchased a zebra shaped ottoman by recycling cans and saving up the proceeds. The shop clerks had a good giggle when I produced what felt like half my body weight in rolled coins but even they were impressed by the way my patience paid off.

One of the first fundraising efforts that Monkeyhouse put together was the Monkey Money can. We passed out coffee containers covered with illustrations of the orange wigged dancers. Potential donors could take them home to fill with any loose change they found in their pockets and purses. Once the cans were full, they could bring them back to us. We would count and wrap the coins to save people time. Usually, they were delighted when they received their thank you letter to discover that they had given a bigger donation than they had expected they could.

So if you are feeling nervous about being able to afford a donation, get a nice bowl or jar and see how much change it attracts. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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