Recessionary Fundraising: Still Possible But Slowed Down

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Yesterday I had the honor of attending a fundraiser organized by some of the Real Housewives of Orange County. Tammy Knickerbocker and Jeana Keough hosted a fundraiser for friend Dominique Manion who has breast cancer. Pictured above are Dominique & the guys from Travertine Spa at the event. The second pic is of yours truly with housewife Jeana. This morning I’m reflecting on the event as I drink my morning coffee.

I’m still wondering about the viability of real fundraising for worthy causes during these recessionary times. There were some generous hearts at the event and some people clearly moved by Dominique’s struggle with cancer. However, visits to the vendor booths and sales of the gift baskets were very slow. I couldn’t help but think that last year, this event would’ve been packed and the vendors would’ve been selling out of their products. The combination of the glitz of the popular TV show and the chance to go “behind the gates” at the exclusive Cote de Caza enclave would’ve guaranteed it. This year, even the glamour of TV stars and the chance to go inside their world, couldn’t motivate mass giving. As one of the hostesses observed, “People just don’t have the money.”
But I want to note some of the really good hearted gestures that I witnessed. There were a couple of very generous donations to the cause. Some people personally gave Dominique donations . She talks about that on her blog, The Modern Amazon. I also observed my favorite housewife, Jeana going around & quietly buying up almost all of the gift baskets that were part of the silent auction. The folks at Travertine Spa (pictured above with Dominique) also very generously donated dollars to promoting & marketing the event for gratis.

So yes, its still possible to raise money for worthy causes and help people who are suffering. But even these worthy efforts are not immune from the impact of the recession. Fundraising will still happen, but the contributions will be slower, just like everything else in our US economy. To learn more about the event and fundraising to help Dominique, visit her blog page. The OC Register also has a nice write-up on the event and the loving intentions of the Housewives to help their friend.

Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.