It’s Always Something

A couple weeks ago, I crafted the annual online appeal for CNRG.  I wrote about some of our successes during the past year, and then told about what the organization wants to do in the new year to make our service to the nonprofit community more effective.  I mentioned that we want to upgrade our technology to make it more accessible to those that use mobile technology like smart phones and pad devices, and that we wish to create a community calendar that will allow organizations to know what other groups are planning and won’t schedule their events on the same day and have to compete for the same donors.  (See If It’s Spring, It Must be Event Season as an example why we need the calendar.)  I added a link to our PayPal donation page, and then sent the appeal to my fellow Board members to comment and suggest changes.  One of the members mentioned that the link was broken, so I recreated the link, checked it a few times successfully, and then posted the appeal for the next day’s Daily Digest.

The next day, I got an email from one of the volunteer moderators saying the link was broken.  I checked it, and sure enough, I got the error page from PayPal.  In my head, I heard a voice from my past saying “It always something”. Yes, I was frustrated, but that line made me smile.  (The link is now working, so I hope you will be generous and use it.)

The line, “It’s always something” was a catch phrase used by Roseanne Roseannadanna, a character created by Gilda Radner, an original cast member of Saturday Night Live when the show was funny.  It’s ironic that she came to mind when this happened, because just a few days later, she was mentioned in an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on Friday.

In 1989, Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer, and after her passing, a cancer support organization called Gilda’s Club was created in her memory.  Recently, several chapters have decided to drop Radner’s name from the organization because, according to some, she was a celebrity before many, if not most of their clients were born, and is not relevant to their cause.  This has created a firestorm of complaints on social media.  Petitions have been circulated on, urging the group to reverse its course.

I am not a fan of this action, but in some cases, rebranding should be done when it is necessary.  After recent reports of charities founded by celebrities who have committed criminal acts like pedophilia or did unethical things like cheating in athletic competitions, disassociating the organization from the perpetrators is clearly a good thing for the organizations.  However, this clearly is not the case with Gilda’s Club.  There are many foundations bearing the names of celebrities long passed that are still relevant, and Gilda Radner should not be dropped just for existing before current clients were born.

To read the article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, click here.



About greatergoodfundraising

Richard Freedlund has been active in the nonprofit sector in a number of ways, both professionally and as a volunteer. He is the founder of Greater Good Fundraising, a business that helps schools and organizations raise money for their programs while accomplishing something positive for the community. After living in Oregon for 27 years, he has returned to his hometown of Rockford, Illinois and hopes to make his mark on the nonprofit sector there. He is the father of a talented jazz musician and the son of philanthropic parents that continue to support multiple causes. To contact Richard for consulting, fundraising, or speaking opportunities, email or reach him on @ggfundraise
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