Rav Dessler defines a problem that exists for Jewish leaders when soliciting donations for their cause.
When you ask for a donation, even when your intentions are for the good of your project, it can be an act of taking!
This self focus can uproot the true essence that this tzedaka request is trying to achieve.
Alongside this, it can put you, as a Jewish leader, in a dangerous predicament, since you can become accustomed to becoming a taker!
And even more. Through being involved with the donors tzedaka funds, you can develop a desire for money!
When soliciting funds for your project or organization, your 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 his tzedaka.
We see this in the words of chazal that the aniyim would request tzedaka by saying ‘zachah bi’, ‘have merit through me’.
Additionally, your tzedaka request should be made in a way that is pleasant to the donor, so he gives happily, with goodwill.
Only then will the full ‘ruchni’ benefit of his tzedaka be achieved.
The Michtav M’Eliyahu warns if one doesn't follow his advice that the opposite of the benefits just been mentioned will occur.
The tzedaka 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,
P.S Rav Dessler originally said in Gateshead in 5701/1941, the year he began raising funds for the Gateshead Kollel. Rabbi Dessler’s full essay appears in the Michtav M’Eliyahu, Vol 3, Pg 91
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