Special Thanks to:

Special Thanks: The Hoosie Martin Foundation provides scholarships to high-quality grant writing training courses for qualifying organizations. We are excited to learn and grow as we take Joel's Place to another level. Thank you Hoosie Martin Foundation for giving us tools to do that!

April Alumni Challenge Link!


One week left in April and we are 80% of the way towards our goal of a $10,000 matching gift.

If you are interested in contributing towards our goal, you can:
- Give us a call at 452-2621
- Stop by the Youth Center to drop off your donation
- Follow this link to our website for more details

Thanks for all your support in this endeavor!

Friday, April 24, 2015

I don't want your Altruism

Why do people give?  

You work really hard to earn money to pay for the things that you need to get through this life.  Why would you simply give some of it away to someone else?  Why would you sign up for a walk or a run or a cruise or a dinner or an auction in order to give money to a non-profit organization?

Researchers will say that people generally give out of one of these two options:
  • Altruism: a desire to help mankind without any expectation of personal benefit or gain
  • Private Gain: the giver receives something of value from their donation
 Most people that I know, especially Christians, will look at those two options and self-identify as Altruistic Givers.  They want to care for their community and the less fortunate.  They do not give for the tax write-off.  They do not want a lot of praise.  They just want to help.  As someone who has been fundraising for over 15 years, allow me to share this with you:

I do not want Altruistic Givers...ever

If you read the title of this post, this statement probably does not surprise you...but it may give you pause.  Before you tear up that check that you had written out to Joel's Place, allow me to explain.

I believe that all positive human interactions are mutually beneficial.  Both sides benefit.  I believe that is how we were created to operate, how we were created to interact with God and with each other.  When only one side benefits there is a shift in power and right relationships that skewers the entire interaction.  If someone is going to give money to Joel's Place, I think they should benefit in a number of ways:
  • They should feel good about the gift.  Donations that are acquired through guilt or panic will pay the bills, but they drive people away from the mission instead of drawing them further into it.  When you give a gift, whether it be $10 or $1,000, know that we are deeply grateful.  Someone asked me the other day, "Will my $10 save Joel's Place?" with a laugh.  Well, no.  Not by itself.  But this endeavor was never meant to be taken on by one person alone.  His $10 will join up with the $10 gifts of his nine friends and we are looking at $100. A smaller donation means that you get to be a part of a larger group, all working towards a common goal.  I do not despise the $10 gift and if that is where you are in your life, neither should you.  (Side note: I do not despise the $1,000 gift either...just to be clear.)
  • They should be building their character and integrity because they are living out their convictions.  Want to know what someone truly values in this life?  Look at their bank account.  The money trail points directly to their priorities.  Every time.  Saying that you care for the poor without investing any resources into helping the poor has no integrity. 
  • Giving is good for the soul.  It promotes compassion and gratitude.  It crushes materialism and fear.
  • They are making their community a better place, both now and for the future.  This is the area that I think has the most tangible, external benefits of giving to Joel's Place.  When you invest in Joel's Place, you are pouring resources into the young people who will shape our community.  You want to lower alcoholism, suicide, and physical abuse in Interior Alaska?  Invest in youth.  You want to break the generational cycles of violence and substance abuse?  Invest in youth.  You want a spiritual awakening?  Invest in youth.  You want creative minds who will be able to bring new industry and vitality to our area?  Invest in youth.  You want certain neighborhoods of our city to get cleaned up and rejuvenated?  Invest in youth.  The key to the big picture problems that we wrestle with is not programs or policies...it is building up the next generation.

The Joel's Place April Alumni Challenge is about a week away from completion.  We have about $2,000 left to raise.  If you were thinking about donating to us because you feel sorry for us or you pity our kids or you have some compelling sense of duty that is driving you, I want you to stop.  Before you give I want you to stop.  I want you to give to Joel's Place because it benefits us and it benefits you.  I want you to give to Joel's Place because you feel good and you grow as a person and it improves this community that you are invested in.  When we have someone who gives out of that place, we gain more than just a donor.  We gain a partner.  A donor can help pay today's bills.  A partner can help transform our entire organization from now far into the future. 

If you have read this blog before, you know what Joel's Place is.  You know what we do and why.  You know our vision of seeing high-risk youth blossom and thrive in this world.  Would you consider partnering with us as we finish up our April Challenge?