Last week, on the first day of May, it was a pleasant Spring evening in West London. Mike, our volunteer fundraiser, was already on the residential street he was to fundraise on, when I met him at 6.30pm.
As Head of Fundraising at Karuna, going out “on the doors’ with our volunteer fundraisers, gives me a tangible feeling of immense appreciation and respect for people’s generosity. Mike is just one of around 30 people who will volunteer for Karuna this year, selflessly giving their precious time and going outside their comfort zone in the process. Throughout the course of the year, these volunteers will connect with the generosity of the UK public, resulting in around 1,000 people becoming new regular supporters to our charity.
Whilst I’m moved and grateful, I shouldn’t be surprised. According to CAF (the Charities Aid Foundation) the UK is one of the 10 most generous countries in the world (ranked number 6). CAF’s ‘2018 World Giving Index’ found that one in three people in the UK volunteer and 68% of people donate money to charities.
Generosity holds a fascination for me. It is perhaps the Buddhist virtue I most admire. According to the Buddha, generosity, along with ethics and meditation, is one of three meritorious acts, which enables us to think beyond ourselves. This in turn gives us a more balanced sense of ourselves and others. As generosity is also one of the 6 fundamental qualities of an enlightened person, it clearly holds significant weight on the Buddhist path to enlightenment.
Mike greeted me with a smile and a “Hey, how’s it going?” He reminded me that whilst he first volunteered for us several years ago, he’d never actually fundraised, as we instead enlisted him as our IT Manager. Now, he tells me, “the timing is right and I want to do something for others.” On the doors, Mike is soft spoken and engaging. At the end of the evening I leave him, confident his generosity and connection will tap into the generosity of the 6th most generous country in the world.
Steven Murdoch , Head of fundraising
If you are interested in fundraising for Karuna visit http://www.appeals.karuna.org