Anonymous Donors: An Informed Public Is A Helpful Public

Image: dbking – http://flic.kr/p/53r7Q

Public Safety Grant News and Tips by Kurt Bradley, Certified Grants Consultant

You May Never Know Them, But If People Know What You Need, You Will Get It

You never know where help may come from, and I say that from personal experience.

One day a patrolman was sitting in a small coastal Florida police department writing a report, when a citizen walked in off the street and asked where the department motorcycle unit was.

The officer replied that they were so small they could not afford such a unit. The officer and citizen began talking about motorcycle units and police work. The men agreed that weekend beachgoers caused total gridlock on Saturdays and Sundays, and it made getting around in a squad car almost impossible. As their conversation wound up, the men shook hands and the citizen left. The officer went back to his report, figuring that was the end of it…

We’ll come back to that in a minute.

Anonymous Angels

Here’s the thing, folks. You may think that ours is a thankless job most of the time, but when the chips are down and you need help, someone usually steps to the plate.

Anonymous donors abound everywhere in our country, in any set of economic conditions. We need look no further than the number of hospital wings, children’s advocacy centers and libraries that are built through the efforts of anonymous donors.

People will not offer to fix that which they do not know is broken! Whatever your need, you can only receive help if people know what your situation is. Public safety agencies in particular tend to internalize their daily operational problems and concerns. Consider publicizing your plight and asking for assistance from the public or corporate America.

Learn to be creative when seeking financial solutions. Building a new station? Offer to name your new building after a local citizen in exchange for a donation of the land to build on, or capital to help with building expenses. Contact the local bank’s trust officers and estate lawyers in your area and let them know that if they have clients who need to donate money to a cause, that your agency would be grateful for consideration. Most people who donate philanthropically, would rather keep their money working locally than being sent off to some faraway place. Use your department’s public information personnel to relay funding needs to the public. You never who is going to step up.

Which brings us back to that small Florida police department.

You Never Know Who Will Step Up For You

The following week, the officer was at work when the same citizen walked into the station. He mentioned their previous conversation… and then he handed the officer the keys to a brand new, fully outfitted Harley-Davidson Police Motorcycle.

It turns out that the citizen was a retired Ohio State Patrolman who had worked for their motor unit for more than 30 years. He had retired to this small Florida community, and he could not stand that his new home’s police department did not have a motorcycle unit.

That citizen’s generosity taught that officer—me—a valuable lesson. Keep the public informed, because you never know who is going to come through for your department when you need it most!

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