It’s that time of year.
Not just the holidays – but the barrage of nonprofit fundraising.
I know, I know. If I get one more nonprofit fundraising email, I think my head might explode.
I’m sure you feel the same way, too. And this is true even for nonprofit causes that I hold very close to my heart. With the deadline for tax-deductible donations quickly approaching, I guess it’s a given that the bulk of the year’s charitable contributions will be made over the next four days. And all us nonprofit folks are clamoring to be heard.
And hey, I get it. I’m not a fundraiser by nature, or by profession – but I am deeply proud to be part of OneJustice’s development team. I believe with 100% of my heart, mind and spirit in our mission of bringing life-changing legal help to those in need. And so, just like most of the rest of the nonprofit folks out there, I will be spending much of the next four days emailing, calling, writing, posting, and tweeting as many engaging, interesting, attention-grabbing messages to raise funds for OneJustice as possible.
But it’s also too easy to get caught up in the activities of fundraising in times like these – and to forget what it’s really all about.
So I keep this photo right beside my computer screen.
The brave gentleman is a veteran who received legal help through a Justice Bus trip that brought a team of volunteers to the isolated region where he lives. He is brave because he served our country – at great personal cost – and brave twice over for seeking legal help he now needs.
And seeing his face every day deeply inspires me. First, it means a great deal to me that our organization – working together with our amazing teams of volunteers and legal services partners – was able to help him. Second, with that inspiration comes a deep, deep sense of responsibility. Because for the hundreds of veterans we have helped this year, there are thousands more who are – right now as I type this – suffering. With no access to the legal help they need. They live right across the county borders from some of the highest density of attorneys in our state – Lancaster, Palmdale, the Inland Empire, Merced County, Los Banos – and it is as if they live in the middle of the Mojave desert in terms of access to legal help.
How can we not move mountains to get to them?
So every time I pick up the phone to call a donor – or post something about our New Year’s Eve Challenge – this photo reminds me of the deeper meaning of these fundraising campaigns.
It’s not the action of making the call or sending the email that matters. And although they are so appreciated, neither are the generous donations that are made in response to our outreach, ultimately, the point. The ultimate deep, soulful part of all of this – is that this veteran – and thousands and thousands more, just like him – are waiting. Waiting for the statewide network to expand and grow and deepen our services, and finally, finally, finally reach them.
And that day – that beautiful day when they walk into a Justice Bus clinic and are served and heard and empowered – that is what every other piece of all of this is all about.
Your support for OneJustice – for one justice system that serves all – is a blessing in the world. I hope you will join us by making a year-end donation to support this work. Not because of this yet-another fundraising message. But because you know that together, we can truly make a difference.
Thank you for everything you do,
Julia R. Wilson
OneJustice Executive Director & Chief Fundraiser