FUNdraising Good Times: It’s not over: expanding the impact of father’s day


We need more than a day to celebrate Father’s Day. It’s just gone too soon. It’s one Sunday and then we are back to the every day. Let’s expand Father’s Day by increasing its impact.  We can do this by choosing to give to organizations that support boys, young men and fathers. Your gift would touch lives and expand a father’s loving care across our communities and country.

Here are the facts:  estimated spending on Father’s Day in 2017 is $15.5 million. That’s a lot of money and a lot of love for our individual fathers. Let’s honor dad and share our love by also giving to those organizations that help nurture the next generation. When we donate a portion of that $15.5 million to select nonprofits, we expand the impact of Father’s Day from one day to 365 days.

Boys and Girls Clubs and Big Brothers Big Sisters are two high-profile organizations known across the country for making an impact on the lives of boys and young men. The same is true of the Boy Scouts, YMCA, the Urban League, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. In every community there are churches, civic and social organizations, and fraternities that are busy night and day providing athletics, mentoring, food, and friendship to boys and young men. Each would surely welcome the participation of you and your father.

Here are a few things to consider as you expand the impact of Father’s Day.

1. Talk with your father – or the man in your life who you want to honor. Ask him which organizations he believes are changing futures for boys and young men. Listen to what he says, and then make a donation in his honor. Consider making an automated monthly contribution – that will most certainly expand Father’s Day.

2. Check out their website to learn of opportunities for you and your dad – and your friends – to volunteer. You can volunteer on a regular basis, or when you have time. If you don’t see anything on the website, pick up the phone and ask a live person.

3. Place the needs of boys and young men of color at the center of your giving. Look for those organizations that prepare boys and young men of color for leadership, college, careers, fatherhood, and the opportunity to live out their dreams.

4. Look at the Ujima Legacy Fund as an example of what you and those close to you can create. This is a group of 40 men who pool their giving to support nonprofits that have a positive impact on underserved youth and young adults in central Virginia. Members meet to discuss grant applications and collectively vote on the final grant recipients. This could be you. Talk to your friends, contact your Community Foundation and get something started.

This is a time to get past the ugly ties, socks and outdated shirts that are too often offered to fathers. Instead, think about putting in place a program that can honor your father and help the community in an ongoing way.

Copyright 2017 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on For help growing your fundraising visit or call (901) 522-8727.

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