When we entered into this year-long fundraising endeavour, we made two clear commitments. First, we committed to the doctor that we would support her in the project she was planning. Second, we made a commitment to donors that we would use funds received to send Dr. X to Location Y. People gave money and the doctor planned her life based on those two commitments.
So we’re not going to renege on those commitments now.
Not only would it be unethical to do so; it would, arguably, be illegal. You can’t take money given for one purpose and use it for another. At the very least, we would have to go back to each individual donor and ask permission to redirect donations. Given that the doctor herself is not in favour of that approach, it’s unlikely many donors would consent.
Perhaps this project wasn’t sorted out as carefully as it should have been before the campaign began. In a perfect world, the congregation would have communicated directly with the hospital to discern more accurately what the facility perceived its greatest needs to be. Maybe that didn’t happen, or maybe the hospital changed its mind late in the game. Either way, that’s not something I can change now.
What I can do, hopefully with the doctor’s enthusiastic support, is launch another fundraising appeal for equipment. That might not be too hard a sell; experience tells me that in every church there are those who will give to people, and those who will give to bricks, mortar and other hardware. Having grabbed the first group with my previous appeal, I’ll focus this thrust on Group 2; they love results that are tangible and measurable, so they’ll likely shell out.
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