It's not like the movies
By Lorena Garcia, Director of Development
December 1, 2016
I laugh and sometimes cringe over how I see the social sector portrayed on TV or in the movies. The character from the social sector is usually a woman who is highly educated, who has memorized obscure philosophers she quotes on occasion. She is depicted as disheveled, often unorganized with frumpy clothing and an office that looks like a wind storm just blew through it. Her car? Most likely a pinto that requires her to kick the door three times and then say a magic word over the hood for it to start. The organization where she works is usually in a building that is about to be condemned because it doesn’t have any running water or heat.
The people that are serviced by this organization seem to be there waiting for hours before a staff member offers them the decency of saying hello or offering them water.
I have worked in the social sector my entire professional career, and besides the highly educated woman the rest is simply not true, or mostly untrue. The social sector is a highly productive sector that is responsible for the progress towards addressing climate change, making sure that health care is affordable, and ensuring that youth have access to high-quality, medically accurate comprehensive sexual health information and resources so that they can make the best decisions for their own sexual development.
How does this happen? It happens because of philanthropy. Without it, the social sector ceases to exist. The federal government has provided incentives to encourage giving to the social sector through tax credits. While many choose to contribute to the social sector because of this, there are many more that choose to donate their hard-earned dollars because of the impact it has on the greater good. Interestingly, when we break down who gives what, we find that the lowest income, those that make $25,000 a year or less, contribute an average gift of $1,638 each year! These families offer the highest giving ration of all income brackets, coming in at 7.16% of their adjusted gross income.
I know that most of us are not within this income bracket, and I am charging each of you to think beyond filing your taxes next year and think about how your generous donation can make a direct impact right now. Sometimes it’s hard to understand how donating to an organization that works towards systemic change can impact that huge mission. And here is my response: Your donation matters. It matters because of the funds that the organization receives and it is important because of the message it sends to our funders that we do have community support. Your gift motivates each of us to keep doing our very best work. You gift keeps us accountable, not only to those we serve through our mission but also to you.
This year, we have the opportunity to show broad support as we prepare to take the defensive against the possible attacks on laws that protect youth when receiving sexual health services, that protect teachers who are educating our youth about their sexual health, and that protect the state and local agencies and clinics that offer these services. CYM works closely with these individuals and agencies and is committed to leading the charge to make sure that we do not roll back progress, but advance our mission despite the threats that are right around the corner. We can only do this with your help. Please schedule your donation for Colorado Gives Day today.