There’s a basic problem that exists when soliciting donations for your cause.
You’re under pressure to raise funds. Who isn’t focused on the good of their cause or your monthly needs?
It’s discussed in Michtav M’Eliyahu…
Asking for a donation, even when our intentions are for the good of our project, can be an act of taking.
The self-focus we sometimes have, because of necessity, can uproot the true essence that this mitzvah act is trying to achieve.
This can put you, the fundraiser, in a dangerous predicament. It can make you accustomed to becoming a taker!
And even more. Through being involved with the donors’ tzedakah funds, you can develop a desire for money!
So what is Rav Dessler’s advice to fundraise correctly?
Rav Dessler advises when soliciting funds that, our intentions and actions should come from a place of giving to the donor and not taking from him.
Alongside this, you should have the intent to bring merit to the giver, by way of this mitzvah of tzedakah.
He shares that we see this in the words of chazal that the aniyim would request tzedakah by saying “Zachar bi, Have merit through me.”
Additionally, the tzedakah request should be in a way that is pleasant to the donor, so he gives happily, with good will.
Only then will the full ‘ruchani’ benefit of the mitzvah act be achieved.
The Michtav M’Eliyahu shares the benefits you will see when you develop this mindset.
- Hashem will assist you to help achieve your goal.
- You’ll fulfill the words in Avos 2:1 of “What is the straight path that a person should follow, whatever is a credit to himself and earns him the esteem of his fellow man.”
- Your actions will be those of giving and not taking.
- The donor will be able to fulfill his mitzvah of tzedakah with a good heart and a ‘nefesh cheftzah.’
- You will accustom the donor to be giving and generous in the future.
- The donation will reach the recipient with an ayin tovah and not an ayin rah and the tzedakah will contain brachah for all involved.
- It will increase love among people, for your actions will unite the giver, the recipient and the fundraiser.
The Michtav M’Eliyahu warns that if a fundraiser does not follow his advice then the opposite of the benefits just mentioned will occur. It will cause damage to him, to the giver and to the recipient!
He concludes by saying, if a person sees a Mossad Torah that collapses or closes, go out and check, if it was not because the heads of the organization raised money with the incorrect ‘taking’ mindset described!
(Rabbi Dessler’s full essay appears in Michtav M’Eliyahu, Volume III, Page 91. It was originally taught in England in the year 5701/1941, which was when Rav Dessler began raising funds for the Gateshead Kollel.)
May you see continued hatzlacha and siyata D’Shamya as you prepare for the Yom Noraim.
כתיבה וחתימה טובה
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Avraham Lewis, personal fundraising coach and charidy.com campaign specialist, is successfully guiding Torah organizations to raise more funds. If you would like to quickly understand how a personalized fundraising solution can increase the amount of funds you are raising, see avrahamlewis.com and contact Avraham at: firstname.lastname@example.org.