Dane Zehrung has been involved with Big City Mountaineers as a volunteer and mentor for over a decade. From Dane:
It feels good to give, but these days it’s tough to know where to give and which programs are most effective. Which organization is really going to use your money for something appropriate? Being a volunteer with BCM gave me insight into the programs and their effectiveness. I know the program is highly impactful to youth and I saw first-hand that the money is spent wisely. That kept me motivated to continue to help out and the natural next step was to help with the funding.
When talking to others about BCM I always emphasize the fact that I am also donating my own time and money. I share the impact the program has on the youth and me. I’m lucky that I have many first hand stories I can pull from my years of being involved. Often, that will motivate others to give, even if I’m not directly asking for donations. I also make a point to ask about corporate matching opportunities- people feel even better about their gift when they learn that it can be doubled by their employer.
Year after year, I continue to stay involved because of the fact that the program actually delivers on its mission. I’ve seen many mission statements come and go for both non-profit and for-profit organizations; most of them “sort of” inspire and then never come true. With BCM, I’ve seen the transformation happen for many individual youths. The BCM program really does influence their critical life skills in a really positive way.