This was a statement recently shared with me by a former NY State FFA Officer attending the 360/212 conference in Syracuse last weekend. As the executive director of the NY FFA Foundation, nothing brings me greater joy than when a friend of the FFA wants to make a gift. My response was simple…..”The best way to insure you give a major gift in the future is to make an annual gift in the present.”
This brief interaction got me thinking about the power of giving. My wife Shari and I make it a priority to discuss annually what causes we want to support. Like so many of us we have the weekly fund drives that come with being parents of two school aged children. Beyond that we discuss what organizations are important to us, and we plan out which ones we will give to. We do not have the budget to give to everyone, however we feel good about what we can give. That is what matters the most……feeling like our contribution, no matter the size makes an impact.
Receiving major gifts, legacy gifts, or being included in a planned gift certainly makes a great impact on any organization. However, the FFA Foundation cannot count on those types of gifts to accomplish our mission. To successfully fund the FFA we rely on capacity. Our ability to do our job is due in large part to the annual gifts of $20, $35, $50, $100 and more from annual donors. The accumulation of annual gifts outweighs the major gifts received in any give year. Major gifts primarily have a specific project attached. Sometimes they are used to leverage support through matching funds. Very large gifts help to get capital campaigns kicked off. Planned gifts are often used to leave a legacy in the future. All of these have impact, but not necessarily in the areas that help the FFA operate.
The power of giving is not in the amount we give individually. The power of giving comes from the capacity of the people that make the choice to give what they can. Start a new habit in 2016, and join me and our other annual donors so we can give back to our FFA members.
There are many ways to give to the FFA in 2016. Check them out below.
Support the FFA Alumni Farm Toy Auction- February 26, 2016
Support the FFA State Convention, May 5-7, 2016
Volunteer to judge at the local, district or state levels. Contact you local teacher.
Participate in the 8th Annual FFA Golf Tournament May 21, 2016
Send a kid to FFA Leadership Training Camp at Oswegatchie
Buy a duck, and credit your local FFA Chapter
Make a general contribution to the FFA anytime
With kind regards,
Todd M. Lighthall, Exec Dir
NY FFA Foundation