For as long as I have been involved in community service work, I have always hated to ask for donations or sponsorships. I just do not like asking people for money. Its not so much as the asking as it is their reaction. I mean, look at me wrong and I'm leaving out the door. One wrong look can kill confidence.
I was having a great conversation with another organization the other day. A white couple. We were discussing how great their organization has done just in the past year. We then began to talk about how hard it is for our organization to get funding. They would share a story of how people just throw donations at them and we shared a story of our struggle to get any donations!
The stories were so different yet our situations were so similar. I attempted to explain the reasoning behind our struggle being effortless for them. When a white couple leading an organization goes to ask for sponsorship and donations, they are greeted with open arms. Everyone wanting to help and give and support just because they see that they are doing something great in the community. When a black couple leading an organization requests sponsorship and donations, they are looked at as begging and looking for handouts. No one wanting to help and support even though they see that they are doing something great in the community.
Please understand, racism doesn't just cloud how you feel, it seeps into how you act, react, and view an individual. It infects all feelings and judgements about that group. View people for what they can produce, not what they look like. I don't care who you are or how you look, if you're out her building and supporting, I salute and support you.
Donita Thompson - Editorial