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Fundraising—and this blog is about that deadly subject—is up there in the top 3 of my least favorite things to do. The other two are lobbying on Capitol Hill and vacuuming. All three activities should be put off until they are absolutely necessary, and no two of them should be done in the same month unless one increases their antidepressant dose.

It will probably be discovered by neuroscientists that the few people on the planet who actually enjoy fundraising (and I suspect that is a smaller number than those who like to lobby or vacuum) suffer from a nonlethal genetic disorder of the frontal lobe. “They are more to be pitied than scorned,” my mother would have said. For most of us it takes a big gulp and a summoning of courage to ask strangers and friends to contribute to a cause, no matter how worthy.

So how and why did I end up coming to all our lists and readers asking them to pony up on May 5th for the National Day of Giving and give most generously locally to Give Grandly!? Did I draw the short straw at the last planning meeting of the Southwest Festival of the Written Word? Should I see a therapist about my willingness to do this task-and blog about it also?

Before I answer that, even to myself, here’s a brief summary of what Give Grandly! is:

Over 40 nonprofit organizations in and around Grant County , New Mexico, have banded together under the aegis of the Community Foundation of Grant County, to work together for a big day of giving on Cinco de Mayo. We are all going to be on display in Gough Park, Silver City, with music and barbeque, booths and music. We’ll be wired so that folks can donate to our causes right there online.

The—will operate for 24 hours only, starting at midnight, May 5th. People can contribute from home, work, smartphones, etc. Of course we all take good old cash and checks too.

But back to my own insanity. I think I have taken on this role because I am in love. And we all know that makes us do crazy things, right? I love this place! Yeah, it’s beautiful and adventurous, diverse and artistic. But the thing I love most about our communities is that we make things happen.

In cities you can consume lots of neat things-shows, courses, music. Even fundraising comes kind of ready-made for you, very professional and accomplished by one check to the United Way or whatever. Here we see a need ,we make a way to solve the problem, fill the gap, create a better community for all our citizens and visitors. We don’t require that you have a lot of money or connections to get involved. Your willingness to participate makes you valued. That’s what I really cherish about this place.

SWFWW is one of those come-together things. Somebody said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a literary festival here? What better place? So many writers, readers.” And those who agreed with the seminal thought made it happen. The rest has been success since 2013.

And that’s true of the other forty-plus nonprofits in the Coalition. They are home-grown by committed community members. Each organization fills a well-perceived need here. The mostly-volunteers are fueled by smarts and enthusiasm—and money.

Back to fundraising: We are banding together to ease the discomfort most of us feel hitting you up for money. We’re doing it together, making it as fun as possible, and focusing on one 24-hour day.

Much as I don’t like to raise money, I, like most of you, never mind giving money to something I believe in. And you, like I do, love this place. Look over that list of causes and join me in being a donor to the ones that inspire you. Grant County deserves your and my love and support!

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

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We respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of southwestern New Mexico is the traditional territory, since time immemorial, of the Chis-Nde, also known as the people of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. The Chiricahua Apache Nation is recognized as a sovereign Native Nation by the United States in the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Friendship of 1 July 1852 (10 Stat. 979) (Treaty of Santa Fe ratified 23 March 1853 and proclaimed by President Franklin Pierce 25 March 1853).

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Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University is a traditional academic press that welcomes agented and unagented submissions in the following genres: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, memoir, poetry, children’s books, historical fiction, and academic books. We are particularly interested in academic work and commercial work with a strong social message, including but not limited to works of history, reportage, biography, anthropology, culture, human rights, and the natural world. We will also consider selective works of national and global significance.