Strong nonprofits enrich all of us

Fundraising is a year-round sport in Kootenai County, but unfortunately, competition does not make it any better.
One organization recently held a fantastic champagne and chocolate event — fantastic for the few who attended. While officials from the nonprofit were thrilled with the desperately needed $5,000 or so the event raised, many of us felt deep disappointment that this tremendous organization didn’t fare much, much better.

And just a couple weekends ago, organizers on a quest to ultimately raise millions of dollars for improvements at the North Idaho Fairgrounds held their first big fundraiser. Again, those who enjoyed the Coeur of the Cowboy events thoroughly enjoyed it, but a mere $2,639 was raised.

These are just two higher-profile targets among hundreds of attempts to raise money for worthy causes in Kootenai County. We are not here to disparage the great and diverse nonprofits who depend so heavily on community support for their survival, but if we had to make a broad observation, it would be this: Many of them share the common problem of not knowing how to raise money or recruit the right people to ensure viability for the future. They’re experts in their areas, no question, but few of them boast professional fundraising as weapons in their organizational arsenals.

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