& Giving: An American Way of Life
Director for Advancement
4-H is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and by its very
nature has been and will continue to be an organization that
teams volunteers with professional staff members to deliver
educational opportunities for America's youth. A significant
aspect of 4-H achievement is the countless hours of volunteerism
individuals have contributed as club leaders, representatives,
judges, members of advisory councils, and boards of directorsand
more. During the past 100 years, adult volunteers have helped
shape the lives of young people across the country, from the
most remote rural areas to the most urban.
In my 25
years of fund-raising and working with volunteer organizations,
one of the most common answers given by volunteers when asked:
Why do you volunteer? is this: "I received so much from
my 4-H experiences as a young person; I want to pass it on."
Pass it on is one of the philanthropic concepts of our culture.
It is also one of the primary reasons people give their money
as well as their time to organizations like 4-H.
Organization requires leadership. The problems of leadership
are important because the genius of American philanthropyand
of modern society generallyis organization.
In order to organize, one has to persuade others to come together
in some common pursuit.
is the function of leadership. In order to enable the people
who come together in the organization to pursue their goals,
money has to be raised. All that is true of private, for-profit
activity, too, of course; the differences lie in what happens
to the surplus of income over expenditures.
like Lynwood Schrader and Jay Hellmann, past president and present
chairman of the board of Friends of Kentucky 4-H respectively,
provide important leadership in organizing the efforts to bring
critical resources in pursuit of the mission of Kentucky 4-H.
Volunteer-to-volunteer solicitation has and will always be the
most effective fund-raising method available to an organization.
Why? Because like politics, it's all local. People give to people,
not faceless large or bureaucratic organizations.
So why do
people give to an organization like 4-H? To pass it on. To pass
it on to the youth in their community. To pass it on to the
other volunteers. To pass it on for themselves, because they
know that someone once passed it on to them.