Time, Treasure & Talent

November 20, 2023
robintaylor's picture

Last Friday I attended the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Philanthropy Day Luncheon where the local chapter honored two companies and three individuals. All were recognized for their charitable giving but, more importantly, their spirit of giving. Time, Treasure and Talent are the three T’s spoken about in the non-profit world and all three were present in each of the honorees.

Treasure is obvious and admittedly, quite important, as all organizations need funding in order to fulfill their missions. Renovations to the buildings on the Iowa State Fairgrounds wouldn’t get very far without the funding to purchase the materials and pay for the skilled labor!  The Blue Ribbon Foundation is blessed to have supporters who believe in our mission and share their treasure with us, be it $1 in the Corndog Checkoff, $250 for TAG Team or a major gift that initiates a capital giving campaign.

But Treasure isn’t the only “T” that is vitally important. There are two others in the mix – Talent and Treasure. The talent comes when people who love the Fair step up to share with us a skill they possess. Bill McNarney, a man passionate about the Fair who worked for HUD, offered the Foundation its very first in-kind gift, a set of 15 hand drawn pen and ink sketches of the major buildings on the Fairgrounds. Bill gave the Foundation the rights to use the images for any fundraising purpose. These drawings formed the base of the first merchandise sold by the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation. Other shared talents include, but are definitely not limited to, those supporters who help set up our merchandise booths, create the baskets and backdrops for the Corndog Kickoff, develop computer programs, work with database entry and so much more.

The time, oh the time, is where our bread is buttered so well because of all of you who simply love the Iowa State Fair and want to help in its success. Time isn’t just about the 5,200 volunteer hours given during the 2023 Iowa State Fair at our booths or the countless hours asking businesses for a donation to the Corndog Kickoff. It is also about understanding the mission of the Blue Ribbon Foundation and sharing that message with friends and family. It is about bringing new people to the Corndog Kickoff or Iowa State Fair and welcoming them into the “Fair fold,” of including them in your love of Iowa’s greatest event.

At the closing of the luncheon, the speaker encouraged everyone present to take a moment and think about someone who has made an impact on you or your community. And then, to take it that next step and reach out and let them know. So during this week of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to reach out to you all, each and every one of you who has given of their Time, Talent and Treasure to the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation. Thank you! Your contribution has made an impact for all of us working, enjoying and loving the great Iowa State Fair.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving – we are thankful for you!