The $1200 Pie
“I can’t believe someone would pay $1,200 for a pie!” That is one of the comments that has stuck with me since we had a fundraising auction 10 years ago, and this is good time to remember it.
Evergreen was in the thick of the largest fundraising effort we have ever undertaken: Raising $1.25 million in cash to help build a new facility. We said from the beginning that our plan was built simply on sacrificial giving, not fundraising events. Each member must figure out with God what they wanted to give and then do so. We refused to use events to persuade people to donate. We said we might have event if we needed the opportunity to renew our vision and celebrate the progress.
Hence, our first and only building fundraiser we had came after we had already raised over a million dollars and were making the final push to our goal. We planned a dessert auction and variety show to be “A Night of Hilarious Giving,” and we worked hard to explain that this event was about giving, not purchasing. The auction was just a way to have fun as we gave the funds we already intended to give.
The evening was a success, and great fun to boot. I still remember the amazement and laughter as bids for cakes and pies repeatedly climbed past $200. Sam Cambell out-dueled Rick Hunt for a pecan pie with a winning bid of $1,200! Most of the desserts were shared around the table and jokes abounded about the price per slice.
But a few seemed truly mystified by it, unable to imagine why someone would pay so much for a dessert. A simple donation of $1200 made sense to them, but donating $1200 in a pie auction seemed crazy. I concluded that we were wise to not have many events like this, because while our people are clearly committed to sacrificial giving, we tend to have a difficult time turning off our bargain brain when we mix giving with buying.
I encourage to take this to heart as you come enjoy the Mission Auction this Friday night. There is a wide range of items currently available in our auction catalog in addition to many yummy desserts for the live auction at the event. But I would urge you to keep the purpose clear in your mind: To highlight the mission work in Senegal our team will be doing and to have fun helping send them. When kingdom giving takes the place of typical commerce it sets the stage for hilariously crazy things to happen. Like a $1200 pie.