A friend of the Gazette commented recently on an Island phenomenon that reaches its apex in August: the big-ticket fundraising event that benefits an off-Island cause.

If there is anything new in the practice of using the Vineyard as a staging area to raise large sums of money — for charities, for advocacy groups, for political candidates — it is only in how widespread it has become. Hardly a day goes by without notice of a cocktail reception, a garden party or a formal dinner that comes with the expectation of a generous donation.

Fishermen go where the fish are, and it’s no mystery why people who are trying to raise money would come here at the height of summer. And it goes without saying that there are plenty of worthy causes everywhere in need of support.

But the influx of national groups vying for time and share of wallet may have unintended consequences for Island-based charities, which increasingly struggle for attention amid all the other noise. There are real and dire needs on Martha’s Vineyard to address issues that are sometimes hard to see in the dazzle of an August day — hunger, poverty, addiction, inadequate housing and mental illness, to name just a few.

Can we legislate against charity benefits that send money off-Island, the friend who attends many of these asked half in jest. Of course not. But we could urge those who use Martha’s Vineyard as a venue for their philanthropic activities to set aside some portion of their receipts for the Island.

Twenty per cent for the privilege of raising money on the Island? It would not only acknowledge the role played by our tiny Island, but would help ensure that Island’s year-round infrastructure, so necessary to its resort economy, remains healthy and strong.