Monday, May 2, 2016

Fundraising Lessons

During a previous election year, I was asked by a dental organization (not the Academy of General Dentistry) to host a fundraiser for a political candidate in my home. Since I had been attending previous fundraisers on their behalf, I agreed.

Now, if you’ve never attended a political fundraiser, I invite you to do so. These events allow you to meet like-minded individuals in a more casual setting. Plus, you will have the opportunity to speak to your elected officials. They can range from small gatherings at a home to full-out parties at banquet halls. Either way, I think you’ll enjoy them because not only are you networking with people with similar interests, but the food and wine is a nice after work treat.

As the host, all I was asked to contribute was my home as a venue. The food and drinks would be supplied by the organization sponsoring the event.

A couple of hours before the event, the guest of honor, our congressman, called to ask if he could bring a couple of friends. I, of course, said that would be fine. To my surprise, my congressman brought along a fellow congressman and our county’s district attorney.

I had two congressmen and one district attorney in my home.

This is the big lesson I learned that night. If you want to make a difference for dental and non-dental issues, in my opinion, it is best to raise funds. If you want to gain the ear of your representative, I believe that holding a political fundraiser on his or her behalf will go miles toward achieving your goal.

Think about it. Have you ever been to your state Capitol? Or Washington, D.C.? Perhaps you’ve been there on one of your children’s school field trips or for your organization’s day at the Capitol with the goal of visiting your representative?

This is what usually happens: When you arrive as a field trip chaperone, you will hear that your representative is busy but that his or her staff will be happy to give you a tour. If you visit with your (dental) organization, again, you will hear that your representative is busy but that his or her staff will be more than happy to visit with you.

I get it: People are busy. Sometimes, in my own office, I too am busy and cannot visit with patients. My staff takes care of people’s concerns.

However, this evening, everyone had time for me and our guests. They commented on how beautiful my home was that night. My wife was lovely, too.

We can continue to go about our traditional ways of reaching our government representatives via sending letters, social media, signing petitions, holding vigils, etc., but we should also consider fundraising as an option. I have seen the results.

So maybe the bills that we supported passed that legislative session and found their way to the governor’s desk. I credit my lovely wife. What other reason could there possibly be?

Andy Alas, DDS

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What a fun and upbeat read! I wanna start a blog now after reading this!
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