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VOL. 127 | NO. 249 | Friday, December 21, 2012

Pearl and Mel Shaw

Thank You, Memphis and West Tennessee!

By Mel and Pearl Shaw

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As the year comes to a close we want you to know how much we appreciate you, our readers. We appreciate your work to make this world a better place. Your efforts in neighborhoods, universities, hospitals, schools and in communities across the world are making a difference.

We appreciate the way you see an unmet need and seek to fill it. We appreciate your innovation and creativity. We also appreciate the way you sustain local organizations and institutions such as LeMoyne-Owen College and the University of Memphis, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Clubs, the Mid-South Food Bank, MIFA, and, of course, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

When you advocate for early childhood education, access to healthcare, and assistance for veterans you are helping to improve life for so many people. Research that seeks cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS and sickle cell anemia is part of “playing it forward” – the way we give to future generations that which we wish we could experience today.

The same is true of investments in education, housing and human services that stabilize families. We understand that not all adults may be able to experience the life they dreamed of, but a stable home with adequate resources, supports and access to education can help the next generation – our children and grandchildren – live more prosperous lives.

The loving care you give to people who are disabled, seniors and the elderly is cherished by those you serve and their family members. Your work in nonprofit nursing homes, adult day health care facilities and day programs for disabled youth and adults is life changing.

Your work to feed the hungry, train and educate the unemployed, and support the arts transforms individual lives and communities.

We think of you when we write this column. We consider the challenges you are facing and the opportunities that may present themselves. Our goal is to provide guidance and stimulate conversation. We know you are focused on delivering a service, advocating or educating. We also know you need to raise money for your work. Please let us know what is on your mind in the area of fundraising. Tell us what you want us to write about in 2013.

Right now we’re preparing columns on prerequisites for fundraising success to help kick off the New Year. We also plan on sharing success stories, guidance in how to process “gifts in kind,” tips for using social media and ideas for increasing revenue from special events. For those who serve on boards we will include suggestions for how to increase your impact as a board member.

As the 2012 comes to a close, please know that we – and so many others – appreciate you and depend on you. Thanks for making 2012 a great year for Memphis and West Tennessee.

Next week: Yearend fundraising reflections.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “The Fundraisers Guide to Soliciting Gifts” now available at Amazon.com.

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