A patron saint for fundraisers

StNicholas
As far as I know, we fundraisers don’t have a patron saint. Which is too bad, because Lord knows we need all the help we can get.

So I’d like to propose that we appropriate the patron-saintly services of St. Nicholas (more properly known as St. Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker), whose feast day is today, December 6.

Yes, this is the St. Nicholas who gave rise to Santa Claus, but that’s not why I think he’s a good match for fundraisers. This 4th-century clergyman in what’s now Turkey is known for a number of good deeds where he gave gifts to the poor and other in desperate situations. And unlike that publiclity-hog Santa, St. Nicholas preferred to keep his good deeds a secret. That’s a lot like what good funderaisers do every day.

There’s another story, in which a ship loaded with wheat bound for Constantinople visited the harbor in Myra during a terrible famine. St. Nicholas persuaded the sailors to unload some of the wheat for the people of Myra. After the sailors unloaded the wheat, they found that there was just as much on board as there had been to start with. Fundraisers create something out of nothing all the time.

Nicholas is already the patron saint of children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, prostitutes, repentant thieves, pharmacists, archers, and pawnbrokers — what a perfect group for fundraisers to join. We’d fit right in.

So light a candle (or whatever you prefer to do) for St. Nicholas!


Comments

8 responses to “A patron saint for fundraisers”

  1. Jeff Imparato Avatar
    Jeff Imparato

    Brilliant, Jeff, I’d rather it be Nicholas than Christopher (the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.)

  2. Jeff Imparato Avatar
    Jeff Imparato

    Brilliant, Jeff, I’d rather it be Nicholas than Christopher (the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.)

  3. Very nice but those of us who follow your blog and are Jewish do not have patron saints.
    Thanks anyway.

  4. Very nice but those of us who follow your blog and are Jewish do not have patron saints.
    Thanks anyway.

  5. Oh, I really love this. It’s making the rounds of the internet today- I’ve seen it in a few places!

  6. Oh, I really love this. It’s making the rounds of the internet today- I’ve seen it in a few places!

  7. Tom Ahern Avatar

    Enjoyed this blog. Like most Western Christian-raised adults (I suspect), I respect the REAL [spirit of] St. Nick. My immediate family is atheist, nominally midwestern, secular Jewish, re-upping Catholic, & Buddhist. I know a Zoroastrianist. Nicest person I know, actually. I’m ready to convert.

  8. Tom Ahern Avatar

    Enjoyed this blog. Like most Western Christian-raised adults (I suspect), I respect the REAL [spirit of] St. Nick. My immediate family is atheist, nominally midwestern, secular Jewish, re-upping Catholic, & Buddhist. I know a Zoroastrianist. Nicest person I know, actually. I’m ready to convert.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.