Sunday, January 6, 2008

The first time is excruciating. Gets easier.

The first time I personally gave $1000 for a political purpose (to a PAC - political action committee) was by far the hardest. There are endless ways to use $1000 -- and making that kind of a personal financial commitment is big -- excruciating the first time, easier the second, then a more routine decision.

Advantages:
1. Will make you an absolute advocate for others to give too. Adds credibility to fundraising sincerity when noted among givers.
2. Will make you care about how PAC money used. I found anything remotely wasteful feels like it's MY money being wasted -- because it is.

How to justify it:
1. Really a political survival fund. Many laws/issues hugely detrimental - and those impact association executives' ability to be successful too.
2. Will make you instantly connect to political issues because of decision to contribute - and will improve your skills. When your money being spent for political purposes you're far more likely to engage in other political activities too.

How to fund it:
1. Some really can afford to do it, and all it takes is writing a personal check.
2. Earn the $1000 - easy to forget skills can be used (for a fee) with other organizations.

3. Give a lower amount. May be entirely unreasonable to give $1000 if trying to pay for health insurance, working part-time, or handling any number of life's expensive emergencies; but maybe setting aside $10 a week for 10 weeks to get to $100 is possible - or maybe giving $15 once is possible. Return bottles, sell something you hate on eBay, facilitate for a fee for another group .... let your contribution be what you earn. If you've never tried to sell on eBay - experiment for a cause.

Your contribution will make a difference - to the organization you donate to, and to your personal commitment because of that donation.

1 comment:

Bill Robie, COAR GAD said...

I used to donate to the ASAE PAC when I was more involved (I plan to again). I agree that it gives you more credibility with your members if you are donating. I know there are many GADs who contribute to their local or state Realtor association PAC. I don't understand that. But to each his own. I don't sell real estate so I don't give to our Realtor PAC. I'm an association executive and support ASAE's PAC. I wish more Realtor association staff did.