Every time we get a big grant, I go looking for small donors to thank.
It just happened. We have gotten a grant so large I can’t find enough zeros to tell you about it. The truth is, I don’t even reliably know how many zeros this one contains (I suppose I could check. There is probably a site that I could google).
But what that means to me is that I need to scurry around to all the people who have donated amounts containing two zeros or three zeros and thank them for staying with us when the going was hard.
Because while big grants are amazing and thrilling, small ones are what bring us to the place where the six, seven and eight zero wallas finally sit up and take notice. Small donors have big hearts. They look at the work being done; they take note of the quality and the sincerity and they say “I’m going to support this.”
That’s not a small step. That’s not a small donation. Because small donors don’t have millions to spare. The causes they give to are carefully chosen because the money they give has been hard-earned. They need to know it will be valued, that the organization or individual to whom they donate can be trusted, that they will do what they said they would do, that their money will be well-spent.
So I feel humbled and in awe whenever we get a check for Rs 5000 or $100. These amounts – while small considering our monthly bills (Rs 500,000; $10,000) – represent something truly enormous to me. They say Trust. They say Faith. They say Belief.
I don’t know where we would be without our “small” donors. They are the ones who brought us up out of nowhere; they are the ones who gave us the toys and the books and the teachers’ salaries (one month at a time). They trusted us and believed in us and supported us when no one else would.
So now that the big guns have arrived – the Indian Government, no less! – with zeroes upon zeroes, I want to put on record our gratitude to the little ones. 2 zeroes, 3 zeroes, 4 zeroes – maybe even five! You are our bedrock, our foundation, our sine qua non.