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It’s a Wonderful Life’s Mary Bailey is the Development Officer you want on your team!

As is our family tradition, we watch It’s a Wonderful Life. I always get teary at the end of the movie. However, this year I realized something else.


Mary Bailey is an amazing fundraiser.


Let me explain.


When her husband is trouble since the Bailey Building and Loan (clearly a nonprofit housing organization) is short money – a story I won’t go into, Mary realizes she is needed to help. She has a story that she can share with people who realize the importance of the Building and Loan since it helped them on their path to success. She is going to people who are already connected, not just the people with money. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t do what George did in going to Henry Potter, the wealthy person, but with no affinity toward the cause.


She also knows that timing is important. George may go to jail if she doesn’t raise $8,000 that day. She doesn’t work on crafting a perfect message. She goes out and asks and gets others who know and care to help and join her efforts.


Mary is authentic in her ask. She is appreciative and invites all who give to come to her home and celebrate together. She is so grateful, and she knows it isn’t about her. It is about the coming together to make something special happen.


It is the outpouring of support with people giving a few cents, a few dollars and the wealthy childhood friend Sam Wainwright responding by telegram support up to $25,000, which would be at least $350,000 in today’s world.


Of course, I really love the toast that Harry Bailey makes to his big brother, George Bailey, the richest man in town. However, Mary Bailey helped made it all happen and didn’t look for the attention. She is happy to be a part in making something wonderful happen.


Additionally, she is instrumental in helping Clarence get his wings.


Best wishes for to all for successful year-end and a wonderful New Year!

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