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Is something better than nothing? Yes.

August 11, 2011

It’s a familiar trap: the notion that if you can’t do something 100%, don’t do it all. Many of us are guilty of this sort of thinking (I certainly can be), and it leads us to adopt a pretty cynical outlook about ourselves and our capabilities. At some point, you’ve probably asked yourself questions like, “If I can’t make a big impact, why bother?” “If I can’t go to the Olympics, why play the game?” and “If I can’t change the world this election season, why vote?”. If you don’t ever fall into this kind of thinking, congratulations. Your the reason society moves forwards.

When we apply this attitude to giving, we may conclude that philanthropy is only worthwhile when it’s substantial. Certainly, large donations can be a real game-changer for organizations and individuals in need.  And unlike consistent, dependable funding streams from government or sizable foundations, small intermittent donations don’t facilitate long-term planning and organizational stability – both of which are needed for greater efficacy. But that doesn’t mean smaller donations are irrelevant, or unhelpful to nonprofit beneficiaries.

Hephzibah Children's Association

Our Nonprofit Partner, Hephzibah Children’s Association recently reminded us of this fact. This summer, the children at Hephzibah enjoyed a creative, interactive session with an African drumming instructor that was made possible by the donation they received through Investing In Communities. With a modest $250 donation, Hephzibah was able to create a culturally enriching session and bring in an artist to showcase the various techniques and forms of African Drumming. The donation helped ensure that, “For the tenth summer in a row, the Group Homes children were able to immerse themselves in the arts during Hephzibah’s Colorful Days program.” Here at IIC, we’re quite pleased that this modest sum was able to sponsor one of the many artists that created this unique and culturally enriching program for the children.

This donation showcases perfectly how a little extra help can make a big difference. Hephzibah was thrilled the day they received the donation from Investing In Communities, and Hephzibah Development Associate Jennifer Ann Stix knew immediately that the money would be a great help in funding the Colorful Days program. Hephzibah’s Executive Director, Mary Anne Brown notes, “Our summer arts enrichment program brings the joy of self-expression to youngsters who have faced much adversity before coming to our home. The African drumming class has always been one of the children’s absolute favorite activities- and we were so pleased to receive IIC’s funding for the instructor.” Though small, this donation was instrumental in creating a great event for the children of Hephzibah Home. And judging from the photos, the African drummer was a big success!

The magnitude of funds generated through IIC varies depending upon the related real estate transactions. While one IIC transaction can generate $2,500 for a nonprofit another may generate $20,000. Whether the amount of money generated through IIC transactions is small or large, every little bit helps and – As Hephzibah proves – can really put a smile on someone’s face.

Thanks to IIC staff member Allegra Miller for contributing to this post!
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