The Best Mother's Day Gift of All...
'Tis the season to be thinking about motherhood. Many of us will be celebrating the moms in our lives, and for those of us who are moms, we'll be hoping to get a bit of special attention this weekend. My colleague Kaijsa wrote a blog post last week about her two young children, ages 1 and 3. Ahh. Those were the days. I think back on that time so fondly. But my kids are now wonderful young adults, ages 22 and 26. While I don't have the bickering in the back of the car, nor the Cheerios littering the kitchen floor, I do have the absolute pleasure of watching my kids grow up and become thoughtful, funny, compassionate people. That might be the greatest gift of all. But as I think about Mother's Days past and present, I remember the really unique gifts that I received. These are the gifts that only your child can give you. It's actually quite similar to the power of the Unique Experiences that so many of our auctions include in their catalogs that raise real money.
What is a unique experience that your child can give you? Is it breakfast in bed, with the slightly burnt toast, and the cold eggs and the lone flower from the garden in the glass on the tray, that is oh so sweet because of who made it for you? Is it the 5-year-old or 15-year-old who tackles a chore that they are normally loath to do? Perhaps they offer to weed the garden or wash the kitchen window or organize the junk drawer (save us!) To this day, I remember when my daughter, at age 3 actually made lunch for my husband and me. We were busy on some project in the basement... probably "debating" what to get rid of (save it/heave it/save it/heave it) and suddenly Abigail appeared with a peanut butter sandwich on a plate. Next to the sandwich on the plate were a pickle and a few chips. She had thought the whole thing through, climbed up on the counter to get out the peanut butter, made the sandwich, and added the pickle and the chips. Who knew that a sweet 3-year-old could be so resourceful and so thoughtful?
So, how does this relate to our world of fundraising auctions? We know that unique experiences are one of the most sought-after, biddable items in our auctions. They come in all flavors. It might be the dinner party that someone in the organization decides to host, or the luncheon with an author, or the homemade quilt from a second grade classroom. Often it is something that money simply cannot buy. And it's one of the reasons that fundraising auctions can be so incredibly successful. We counsel our auction customers to look close to home for items that will have high perceived value for their supporters. We tell them to be creative. We all know that sometimes the homemade item is truly priceless.
In my world on Mother's Day, it's not the jewels or the expensive gifts; it's the unique and special things that only my children can give me. This weekend I'm going to be out shopping with my daughter and five of her best friends for a wedding dress for her upcoming wedding. How much fun will that be? One minute she's three, making me a peanut butter sandwich and the next we're planning her wedding (cue the sappy music). Here's to all mothers, with a hope that you are lavished with all of the love and unique gifts that you deserve. And for all of the bidders on BiddingForGood, look for those really special, unique items that you can't find anywhere else. And then come back for more.