Monday, January 26, 2009

A new bailout

Fundraising is a necessary evil. Everybody that knows me, knows that it is one of my least favorite things to do. I would much rather spend my time with my nose in the research, on the phone with an investigator, or spending time with a family that has a child with neuroblastoma. But, asking for money, well it just isn't my favorite thing to do. After all, I created a fundraiser that was entirely about not asking for money. Lunch for Life is about asking for lunch - one lunch - and that I can do.

Regardless, as the economy has turned it has become increasingly important that I focus my time concentrating on fundraising. I have become a student of the economy and its impact on non profit fundraising. I have learned some incredibly interesting things and I feel more and more confident everyday that childhood cancer non profits aren't going to be washed off of the face of the earth. In fact, I can make some pretty good arguments that, with the right strategy, non profits in our segment could actually see some growth. However, at the very best, we will still need much, much more. Regardless, all of this studying and researching has really got me thinking as I watch the news.

There are all of these talks about bailouts. We bailout banks and the auto industry. I am not really sure how those have helped the economy but I am quite sure that it has helped many of the employees that work for those companies. Saving jobs is a good thing. Bottom line though, I haven't seen confidence restored and I haven't seen credit markets loosening much. Obama is talking about a new bailout package which appears to be focused on putting people back to work on government projects. This means fixing roads and infrastructure. All in all, I don't disagree with this strategy. It gets people back to work. It puts money in people's pockets. It gets people spending. Eventually, I can see how it would get everything working again. I can see how it can have value.

So, here is my thought. If the government is looking at ways how it can protect and improve American assets with the byproduct of improving the economy, why don't we work on one of our nation's biggest problems and protect one of its greatest assets to create the same effect.

Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the United States. It is often said that children are our greatest asset and our greatest hope for the future. While we invest billions on roads (and hopefully schools) why don't we also invest a billion or two into solving the greatest problem of our greatest asset. More research funding would help to build more medical infrastructure. It would put people to work at all levels and in many industries. Most importantly, it would help save our greatest asset and hope for the future. It could certainly help as much as new roads and new government. In fact, I would argue that it would help even more.

Why not?

Doesn't this make sense?

Why aren't we advocating for something like this?

Purpose is always running through my mind.

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