Donor Fatigue … Even Angels Get It
Now I’ve heard everything. Donors on Nantucket Island have given enough. They’re all tapped out. There’s hardly a free evening any more … what with all the celebrity cocktail parties to attend. So reports the Cape Cod Times, as cited by Nonprofit Quarterly.
Said one beseeched, but well-heeled resident: ““We’re full of angels, but you shouldn’t try to overdo it, because a person can get turned off very easily if they think everyone is coming to the same well.”
For our geographically-challenged readers, Nantucket ranks highest in the US in housing prices. The typical house on Nantucket Island — population 50,000 during the summer season — is worth more than $1 million (runners up are Marin County outside San Francisco at $880,000 and Manhattan at $800,400).
When Nantucket donors are feeling the fundraising pinch, everyone in the fundraising biz should beware … the real crunch is coming.
I did some investigation to find out what kind of charities in Nantucket are competing in Nantucket’s short fundraising season. Celebrities like Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro gotta go back to work sometime, you know.
High on the list was the “Committee to Upgrade the Gulfstream Waiting Lounge”. It seems that residents using private jets believe the current carpeting in their exclusive lounge is getting too scuffed, the finger sandwiches have been stale on occasion, and it’s time the brass fittings in the toilets were upgraded to gold. Said Gilda Lilly, “We have standards. We get off our exquisitely outfitted Gulfstream G650s (cost: $65 million) and walk into this squalor. We might as well be landing in Martha’s Vineyard!”
“Habitat Nantucket” is also searching for funds. Several former Nantucket residents of Wall Street debacle fame have now served out their prison sentences and are eager to return to the island, but with severely diminished funds. Habitat Nantucket says that for only $500,000 apiece, these repentant financiers can be helped back into ‘starter’ homes. “Some curs say they belong in the Cayman Islands, but they’ve paid their dues to society; it’s time to welcome them home,” said HN chairman Clive Fensterwald IV.
The “Nannies Legal Defense Fund of Nantucket” (NLDFN) is one of my favorites. This group pools contributions so that nannies who threaten to spill the beans to media on the lifestyles of Nantucket’s rich and famous can be appropriately sued into oblivion by a crack legal team.
The chairman of NLDFN, speaking to The Agitator off the record, said: “We take a precautionary approach … usually the mere threat of years of litigation costing far more than any possible book/movie deal is worth is enough to keep these ingrates quiet.” In its annual fundraising appeal, NLDFN warned that the financial need would be increasing, as disclosure threats were increasing with chauffeurs and bodyguards.
Then there’s the “Nantucket Summer Camp Program”, Nantucket’s leading children’s cause. Each year the program sends 10 of Nantucket’s poorest children off the island for a decent summer vacation. Eligible children must come from a family whose net worth is less than $100 million. This year, the lucky kids will spend part of their summer exploring the Amazon, and the balance at Rafael Nadal’s exclusive tennis camp on Majorca.
And finally, “Operation Makeover”. This is Nantucket’s most popular and well-endowed charity, which finances research into personal beautification. “The ladies love this one, tickets are usually sold out two years in advance,” says Hope Springs. “The work we’re doing on facial reconstruction is very popular, but our more visionary donors are into cloning and cryonic preservation.”
And I’m just scratching the surface of Nantucket’s 100 registered charities — among the others … Fur Lovers Forever, Tax Evaders Anonymous (“Nantucket’s TEA Party” says one wag), and The Society to Expose the Global Warming Hoax.
WOW! I don’t know about you, but I can see why Nantucket donors are flattened by fatigue. So many worthy causes; so little time to be seen giving.