Marquette, MI (PressExposure) September 09, 2009 -- Ornaments with a message hang from automobile mirrors in many countries. As a frequent visitor to Lombok Island just east of Bali, Indonesia, occasionally I see young men standing in the center of a narrow road holding cans or boxes while reaching out to passers-by in horse carts or bemos. Cars adjust their speed to accommodate local fundraisers. To the left or right or further down the way you may see their purpose. Perhaps the mosque is undergoing a facelift, a minaret or an entire neighborhood building is under construction. Efforts to finance such projects tend to bind the community together. How can volunteers further increase their base of giving?
Fundraising can be more productive. Charitable giving can include options that produce smiles and personal satisfaction. When coupled with a daily reminder of one's generosity, the giver tends to sacrifice again. If he then displays a reminder of his generosity in his vehicle or in the home, he earns a sense of "satisfaction" beyond that of the moment. Receiving a token gift for generosity is always welcomed. It is a tangible "thank you."
"Education can make a difference." Education in general and scholarships in particular are tools for building the community, be it in Lombok, in Senegal, Uzbekistan or in the suburbs of Chicago. Successful fundraising for scholarships or a mosque requires leadership. This presents an oppportunity to learn how to lead, inspire and influence others. As one grows in the experience of leading, success may prompt a leader to take on a bigger project, perhaps to open a business one day. Learning how to approach people and inspire them "to give" is a challenge. It requires positive thinking and an appearance of enjoying the effort in order to gain a desired result. Recognition of a job well done by members of the team that stood with you on the street or joined you in a house-to-house fundraising campaign for your school or scholarship fund is rewarding.
On Lombok Island, taxi's are known to sell tasbihs (prayer strands) from their cabs. Drivers hang a few from their mirrors. Hanging ornaments on mirrors is not unique to this small island. This practice may not be legal everywhere but there are places in vehicles where tasbihs or other items can remind you of daily obligations.
Tourists in Lombok frequently use a taxi to the airport. They find the short travel time to be an unexpected opportunity to buy a tasbih from the cab driver. They can examine the driver's collection and buy a gift for a waiting party at their destination. Receiving a tasbih as a gift carries a significant meaning. Tasbihs are lovely memorabilia since every Muslim uses prayer beads daily.
Although not related to fundraising, consider how giving tasbihs to guests that attend a wedding might be a pleasant surprise. Emerald Nile in Lombok (emeraldnile.com) has supplied thousands of inexpensive tasbihs for guests attending weddings in the UK. Young people in Senggigi are employed to make these tasbihs.
Student organizations can raise funds for scholarships. Middle school students might raise funds to improve a sports field, buy a computer for the school, help a student with a serious need. In addition people in the village can sell tasbihs or meaningful ornaments to support the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage of one of their own. Organized groups enjoy the spirit of competition toward a meaningful goal. Success always binds the group or community.