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How this R’ Dessler Mindset Will Transform Your Fundraising

In this short piece, I re-post a powerful mindset that R' E.E. Dessler brings in Michtav M'Eliyahu* that can transform you and your fundraising.

There’s a basic problem that exists when soliciting donations for your cause.

Asking for a donation, even when our intentions are for the good of our project, can be an act of taking!

And this self focus, because of the need, can uproot the true essence that this tzedaka request is trying to achieve.

This can put us, as the fundraiser, in a dangerous predicament, since we can become accustomed to becoming a taker!

And even more. Through being involved with the donors tzedaka funds, it can develop in us a desire for money!

So what’s R’ Dessler’s advice to do it right?

When soliciting funds for our project or organization, our intentions and actions should come from a place of giving to the donor - and not taking from him.

Alongside this, we should have the intent to bring merit to the giver, by way of his tzedaka.

We see this in the words of chazal that the aniyim would request tzedaka by saying ‘zachar bi’, ‘have merit through me’

Additionally, the tzedaka request should be in a way that is pleasant to the donor, so he gives happily, with good will.

Only then will the full ‘ruchni’ benefit of the tzedaka be achieved.

The Michtav M’Eliyahu lists the benefits we’ll see when we have this mindset.
  • Hashem will give us assistance to help us achieve your goal.
  • We'll fulfill the words in Avos 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.'
  • Our actions will be those of giving and not taking.
  • The donor will be able to fulfill his mitzva of tzedaka with a good heart and a ‘nefesh cheftza’
  • You'll accustom your donor to be giving and generous the next time he gives.
  • The donation will reach the recipient with an ayin tova and not an ayin rah and the tzedakawill contain brocha for all involved.
  • It will increase your love for people, for your actions will unite the giver, the people who will benefit from the funds and yourself.

The Michtav M’Eliyahu warns that if a fundraiser does't follow his advice, the opposite of the benefits just been mentioned will occur. It will cause damage to him, to the giver and to the recipient!

He ends by saying, if a person sees a Mossad Torah which 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!

B'hatzlacha raba raba in all your fundraising,


*Rabbi Dessler’s full essay appears in the Michtav M’Eliyahu, Vol 3, Pg 91. It was originally said in England in the year 5701/1941, which was the year R’ Dessler began raising funds for the Gateshead Kollel.

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