Why Daniel Became an 826DC Monthly Donor

My name is Daniel Hoagland, and I want to tell you why it’s so important and so cool to support 826DC as a monthly donor—and to share my story about becoming one.

If you already donate to 826DC—maybe at the end of the year, or around events like Giving Tuesday, Trivia for Cheaters, or Paddlestar Galactica—that’s wonderful, and you do a lot of good. While those gifts are amazing, however, a recurring donation is even amazing-er because of one thing: it’s dependable. Nonprofits—especially smaller, local nonprofits like 826DC—love dependable recurring donations because they can plan for them and build around them.

The other reason recurring donations are cool is that you can “set it and forget it.” Giving $120 at once might feel like a lot, but $10 per month is probably less of a big deal for you while being the same big deal for 826DC. It’s a win-win! And it couldn’t be easier to do.

I became an 826DC monthly donor at the $20 level back in 2016. Before that, I had volunteered once or twice, gone to a fundraiser, signed up for the emails, and donated once a year on Giving Tuesday…all of that stuff. I’d love to be able to say that I decided to give regularly because of one simple thing, but like all the best stories, mine is a touch more complicated than that. There were three big factors for me: the timing, the work, and the mission.

First, the timing. After the November 2016 election, I knew that I wanted to put my money where my mouth was and help the people whose lives were directly impacted. Having worked at a local nonprofit, I knew that the best way to help was by giving to local organizations making a difference in my community—and who does that describe better than 826DC?

I knew that 826DC worked with many students who would be directly and quickly impacted by the changes that were coming. With a place to go after school, ways to express themselves, and caring adults who believed in them and in what they had to say, I also knew that they might be better able to help each other and their families.

The work of 826DC speaks for itself, but that doesn’t mean we all shouldn’t be talking about it as loudly and as often as possible. So let’s not mince words: 826DC gives local youth a truly unforgettable experience, a truly life-changing skillset, and a truly unique platform for their creativity. The work that 826DC does with their limited resources is extraordinary, the students are awe-inspiring, and the staff is the hardest-working group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I know you support them, but believe me when I say that becoming a recurring donor makes a big difference.

This brings me to 826DC’s mission, one that speaks to me personally. In between my day job and my other various commitments, I’m a writer too. It’s my hobby and my passion to tell stories, but it took me ten years as an adult to rediscover writing—a whole decade to learn that I could write for fun and that the act of putting pen to paper could be both an outlet for my creativity and also a skill that helped me succeed. I’ve found, over the years, that I really enjoy helping and mentoring other writers. I’m beyond proud to support an organization that creates the kinds of experiences for young people that I never had.

Just like the youth who tell their stories through 826DC’s programs, each of us who donates our time or money has our own story about why we give. Yours reflects who you are and what brought you here, just like mine does. I hope you’ll become a recurring donor at 826DC, and make your next chapter about supporting an incredible local organization.