[nfb-talk] Question of Philosophy- fund raising

Cindy Handel cindy425 at verizon.net
Fri Aug 27 12:06:31 UTC 2010


I can't imagine what objection anyone would have to this type of fund 
raising.  You're selling something to raise funds, and providing information 
about the NFB, via the literature you're handing out.  People are free, 
however, to simply accept the literature or make a donation, if they choose 
and don't want to purchase the item you have for sale.  I really don't know 
what, in our philosophy, would prevent such fundraising.  It sounds like a 
good idea, to me.  I'd like to use the idea in our chapter.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Leslie Newman" <newmanrl at cox.net>
To: "nfbtalk" <NFB-talk at NFBnet.org>
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 7:38 AM
Subject: [nfb-talk] Question of Philosophy- fund raising

I have a question of NFB philosophy. I bring it to this list because I know
and want you all to give it to me straight from the philosophical shoulder.

Here is the situation: There is a debate upon the acceptability of the
following method of fund raising. There are some in my local chapter, in the
affiliate in my state, in the division where I am the President, who feel
that the below method of solicitation donations is not philosophically
acceptable under NFB philosophy; some of the membership feel that the way it
is being handled is acceptable. Do read the description I present and give
us your feelings.

I am part of the Omaha chapter and for years I have participated in the
Wal-Mart "Meet and greet." And note the title that we've given it, "Meet and

Allow me to set the scene- It is 10:00 AM, we have two six foot tables
setup: one is outside the doors from the grocery store entrance and the
other outside the general merchandise entrance. There is a large banner
stretched across the full length of the front of the table, running just
below the table-top, from the legs on the right hand side, to those on the
left. The Banner is in the NFB colors of dark blue letters on a white
background- it reads "National Federation of the Blind, Omaha chapter." The
chapter members manning the table are also wearing NFB labeled clothing.

On the table-top, There are stacks of a variety of NFB literature , a large
donation jar, a slate and stylist for taking notes, someone's long white
cane lying the full length of the table and a bill-identifier (we will
demonstrate and even give change). Then yes, we will have some item to sell
to the potential donator; the item having been donated or purchased at a low
price, in order that we do monetarily gain from the transaction. (You know
how this must go; this is a fund raiser, as well as an opportunity to
educate the public.)

The members who "people" the table either sit behind the table or stand to
the side or out front to better engage the flow of customers coming in and
out of the store.

"Would you like to give a donation to the Omaha Chapter of the National
Federation of the Blind?" Or, "Would you like to purchase a Mother's Day
Flower and support the National Federation of the Blind?" Is one of several
different types of short, quick phrases that you might hear me or others
say, as we hear new people traffic coming or going. These customers are
always speeding by on their personal business and we learned long ago, that
what ever you say needs to be quick and to the point.

Then, as a potential donator approaches the table, you might hear, "Would
you like to help us do our work?" And/or "do you know a blind person?" Or,
"Let us tell you about the Federation and what we do." And, knowing that
most of these people are in a hurry to go about their business, we would
hand them one of each of our broachers, saying something like "Please take
these; we would like to tell you about our organization." And of course, if
the person is inclined to visit, we will go into as much depth about
blindness as possible (answering their questions is always the priority).

Some times, there will be a second organization similarly setup and across
the entrance from us- like the "Make A Whish Foundation."

Robert Leslie Newman

President- NFB Writers' Division

Division Website


Personal Website-


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