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I started as the Manager of Alumni Relations and Development at the beginning of January and ever since, I’ve been challenged to understand what charitable giving is. That challenge, self-imposed at first, is taking me through a series of thoughts that range from the role of philanthropy in the world to my own relatively small contributions to organizations that I care about. I never expected to find myself in a job that so directly involves fundraising, but I’m here and I’m asking a new question about it everyday.

Last week Meghan Moore, our CEO and fellow alum, made a comment that gave me a new Loran-specific question to consider. She said, (and I’m paraphrasing), “Loran is all about the ‘why’ and the ‘motivation’ behind our actions, that’s what we’re always looking for.”

As our conversation continued I found myself wondering, “What motivates alumni to donate to Loran and why do they keep doing it?” I thought about how my Loran friends might answer. I thought about how they might point to what they value most, how they want Loran to change, and what they’re most proud of the organization for achieving. I started to get excited about hearing the answers and about how the organization might learn from them.

That’s why we’re asking our alumni volunteers to include this question in the conversations that they’re having with alumni as we remind you to contribute to this year’s fundraising campaign.

As I imagine the answers, I realize that I need to know what it is like to answer it for myself. So here is my answer to the question, “What motivates me to donate to Loran and why do I keep doing it?”  

I donate to Loran because I believe in supporting young leaders to achieve what matters most to them.

This hasn’t always been my reason for giving to Loran. When I first started giving I was recognizing a general sense of responsibility and gratitude for Loran’s contribution to my life. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about how the organization was contributing to the world beyond the experience that I remembered from my undergraduate years. But since joining the staff team it has become more important for me to understand how the organization is advancing a vision of the world that I believe in.

That’s why I’ve come to understand that my motivation comes from the part of me that remembers what it was like to be a young person drawn to leadership at an early age. I believe that young people are leading in ways that our communities need. I keep giving because Loran is committed to learning about how to support young people to grow their impact today and into the future.

As we reach out to you over the remainder of the alumni campaign, we encourage you to share your answer to this question. Or, if you’d rather, click here to send us your answer electronically; with your permission, we’ll share some of your answers as they arrive.

-Adam Fearnall