by Jody Comins, Development and Events Coordinatorjc photo

In December, I participated in a webinar through Network for Good about how to maximize Mayyim Hayyim’s efforts for our year-end appeal. You’re familiar with Year End appeals, right? Every non-profit is sending their best, most heart warming, feel-good story and asking you to open your checkbook one more time before midnight on December 31.

The webinar was helpful and I definitely learned some new things. The presenter closed with a really nice story that I wanted to share with you. The story, which is about Bill Cosby, helped me shift my thinking in the way we think about soliciting donors.

This is how the story goes (and this is strictly paraphrasing):

Bill Cosby was in a debate class at Temple University and one day the professor asked the class to defend their answer to the question: “Is the glass half full or half empty?”


I’m a half-full kinda gal, an eternal optimist who finds a silver lining in even the worst situations. So I don’t know why the King of Comedy had trouble with this question. But he did. His thought was that it was both half full and half empty. The professor said Bill had to come up with one position and be prepared to debate it.

When Bill went home that night he was troubled by the assignment and his grandmother asked him what was the matter. He told her the problem, and she answered, without even hesitating, “It depends on whether you’re drinking or pouring.”

It depends on whether you’re drinking or pouring.

Interesting way to look at the issue. The presenter took this and likened it to fundraising. As a non-profit asking for money, we see ourselves as drinking. He turned the idea on its head and said, “We are actually pouring.”

Most people want to give to charity. It makes us feel good, it’s a mitzvah, a commandment, and of course, it’s tax-deductable.

Mayyim Hayyim gives you an opportunity to donate to a place that you believe in. We offer a platform for you to effect the change you want to see in the world by supporting our mission. That’s holy spiritual work right there!

So thank you for allowing us to fill our cups through your continued generosity day after day and year after year.

Jody Comins is the Development and Events Coordinator at Mayyim Hayyim.  She has a Clinical MSW from Boston University and has worked in the Boston Jewish Community for almost 24 years in many different environments.