Like many, I was a bit surprised when I saw the notice from G.O.A.’L about temporarily having to close its doors. I was doubly surprised when I saw the notice in regards to how much G.O.A.’L wished to raise through its sustainability initiative. I thought, “$150K??!! Are you kidding me?” But then the dormant fundraiser in me kicked in and I started doing some remedial math.
My internal dialogue: “Okay… I bet that G.O.A.’L, its staff, and its volunteers have helped at least 1,000 people. If those individuals all gave $150 this year, G.O.A.’L would easily raise the $150K. And if those 1,000 people got their adoptive family members to chip in $150, they would double it. And, hey! $150 isn’t so bad. I spent at least that much p/month at the bars during my 20 somethings. Yeah. It sounds fairly straight forward to me…”
Come on people. Are you one of the 1,000+? If you are, perhaps you should consider giving back? Perhaps you could forgo that donation you were going to give to your college/university? Think about it. In the meantime, here’s my conversation with James.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: You’ve done the Korea-to Minnesota-and back to Korea thing. I know that this is a huge question, but would you mind talking about what led you back to Korea?
James: My first visit back to Korea was in 1998 when I returned for three weeks for vacation. I toured the country, visited my orphanage and adoption agency for the very first time. It was such a wonderful experience that I made a promise to come back someday to live and work in Korea. Fast forward to 2009 when I returned to Korea for the third time on a Korean government scholarship to attend graduate school and study the Korean language for one year. After a year I decided to give up my scholarship and graduate program to pursue a career in Korea working for G.O.A.’L full time.
G.O.A.’L has given so much to me and other Korean adoptees with services like Birth Family Search, immigration, legal, employment and other daily assistance as well as provide events and programs like the Annual G.O.A.’L Conference, Christmas Fundraiser, First Trip Home Program, etc.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: As some know, GOA’L is going through some transitions right now. Would you mind talking about what’s going on with the organization?
James: G.O.A.’L has definitely gone through some difficulties lately, but I am working to find long term solutions for the future. In the past, G.O.A.’L has relied on government support for the majority of our funding. Going forward, G.O.A.’L needs better solutions by diversifying its funding through various ways. Private donations, corporate sponsorships, fundraising events, as well as annual pledges and capital campaigns, are just a few ways to do so.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: What can people do right now if they want to support GOA’L?
James: G.O.A.’L needs the support of the overseas community. The overseas community can start by raising awareness of G.O.A.’L’s existence and by promoting its pledge drive, capital campaign and creating fundraising events on behalf of G.O.A.’L. That’s why I have created the Sustainable G.O.A.’L Initiative, which asks for the community to participate in giving a monthly donation to help support our operations costs and staff. This will help cover the costs year after year.
The second part of the initiative is to provide a long term solution by creating a three year Capital Campaign. This campaign will help raise money for investing in the future, like IT maintenance and upgrades, creating a foundation, and a multicultural center for adoptees to gather to call their own space.
Please take a look at our website for further details.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Thank you, James, and best of luck.