There’s two primary types of fundraising in the Muslim community (generally speaking). The first is the fundraising that occurs for a community whether it be their building, operations, school, events, or something else of that nature. It’s already assumed that every single musalla in existence has a framed picture of a blueprint that they’re constantly fundraising for. The second is the hit and run fundraiser that often occurs on Fridays for a specific project – usually outside the community.
In both cases though, the same problem holds true. Most of the time people are simply pitching a project to raise funds for with the same song and dance. The same texts about charity. The same appeal to help. A brochure. A request for various amounts, and then they’re gone. Usually they have even done the math knowing how much they need to raise after Friday to have even made that trip worthwhile.
The problem with this approach is that the community has become apathetic to it. Not only do people not care about the project, but they’re fairly put off by the fundraising as well.
Contrast this to what happens on the Friday after a major natural disaster. The imam of the community may get up and give a passioned appeal about what our brothers and sisters are facing along with reminding us of our responsibilities toward them. In this situation it’s real and it’s tangible.
It’s similar to when people are attending an event and they donate to pitch in at the end to help cover costs.
The scalable unique selling proposition is that being part of the community is worth more than it costs. -Seth Godin
Once construction on a building starts, the people closest to it will usually give. When a school project starts, the parents who want to send their kids there usually start to give. But with the inundation of fundraising in our community centers (on a weekly and sometimes daily basis), we have lost sight of making people feel a part of the community.
It’s easy to stand up and ask for money. It takes a lot more work to make the people you are asking feel like they gain so much value from their community that they can’t afford to not donate.