Giving Rather than Getting

I’m one of those annoying people that really doesn’t have a lot of wants. When I do have something I want, I just go buy it. That makes it hard for family & friends to buy me gifts. Doubly hard since my birthday and Christmas are in the same month.

To prevent those family & friends from pestering me to invent something they can go buy that I don’t really want, I do a fundraiser each year. When folks ask me for gift ideas, I just point them there. It works pretty well (other than my wife who wants to “surprise” me). Wrapping up a charity with my birthday makes writing the check to the charity feel a little nicer.

I also try to pull my clients in on this. Cynics might say that I’m trying to let me clients know I’m a good guy. Optimists might say that I’m bringing charity into all aspects of my life. Take your pick.

Here’s some ideas on offers you can make to your clients to get them to donate to your fundraiser:

  • Offer a discount on your hourly rate. If you charge $X/hour, offer them $Y/hour with a $Z donation. Z must be greater than Y.
  • Offer free karma. For every $X dollars donated, give your client a free hour of support if they need it in the next Y months. Maybe you’ll have to pay, maybe you won’t.
  • If you sell a product, offer $X off the price for a $Y donation. X must be greater than Y.
  • If you sell a product, offer to do an enhancement or new feature if $X dollars is raised.

If you’re interested, my fundraiser this year is


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