4/9/14

Fighting for a $15 per hour minimum wage: What would a Wholehearted Supporter do?

Let me preface this post with the acknowledgment that there is no easy answer to how to implement a city-wide minimum wage increase (which is the subject of local debate in Seattle). However, this complexity does not justify the heavy-handed language that some City leaders use to discuss the issue.


The mantra of some Seattle political, business, and other leaders who claim to be Wholehearted Supporters of a $15 per hour minimum wage: "There's a Right Way and a Wrong Way to achieve a $15 per hour minimum wage; to avoid Terrible Consequences, Seattleites should get behind the Right Way." 


Demanding that City Council pass a no-exceptions-$15-minimum-wage-in-2014 ordinance is Wrong; so is taking the issue to Seattle voters via a ballot initiative. Mayor Ed Murray worries a ballot initiative would "divide us." A co-chair of his minimum wage task force (charged with recommending how to implement a minimum wage) fears an initiative would mean a "financial bloodbath" for the business community and unions. Other Wholehearted Supporters warn that a no-exceptions minimum wage would destroy nonprofits dependent on low-paid staff and, hence, their services for low-income people; transform Seattle into a big-box store wasteland; suck the City of its soul; and more. 


What is the evidence for Supporters' claims; what considerations do their analyses ignore; and what is the effect of their public admonitions on workers, employers, and voters? 




 

3/10/14

30-Second Fundraising Workshop Series: The Reject Gift Drive

(cont'd from Mar. 6th post) 

Here’s how the Reject Gift Drive works: Organizations solicit and collect unwanted, unopened gifts throughout the year.  (Note the phrase “throughout the year.”)

Random thoughts:

  • Wedding and Valentine’s Day gifts can be particularly good auction items, in terms of monetary and/or entertainment value.
  • It’s easiest to solicit unopened, unused gifts, but there are exceptions to this rule (see above).
  • Encourage in-kind donations of all sizes. A lot of little reject gifts can be artfully displayed in the proverbial nonprofit auction basket (as in, “Italian Dinner in a Basket,” “Spa in a Basket,” etc.) encased in cellophane and adorned with a big bow.
  • I find that this fundraising tactic works as a complement to more conventional fundraising, as opposed to a substitute for same. (Sometimes you collect great stuff; other times – not so much.)

Reject gifts can be used as auction items and raffle prizes.