The thought leaders in the fundraising world talk about ‘making your donors the hero’.
But let’s be honest, it’s YOU who's the real hero.
You’re amongst the most privileged of Am Yisrael - making a difference in the lives of the Jewish people. And you’re impacting not just this generation, but future generations too.
That’s your occupation. Without you there would be a lack in the world.
Do you know how great you are?
A gabbai tzedaka (fundraiser) - Tosfos in Bava Basra says - is greater than a melamed tinokos (teacher of children).
You’d think there’s nothing greater than a Torah teacher of children, after all, ‘Talmud Torah k'neged kulam’ (Torah has the weight corresponding to all the mitzvos).
Yet Tosfos says a gabbai tzedakah is greater than a Torah teacher. The ‘Meil Tzedakah’ explains why this is so.
Someone who successfully raises money for a mosdos Torah has a great reward. This extends even to a person who TRIES to raise funds and was NOT successful. His reward is also great.
The reason is simple.
It’s not about the results - they’re not in your hands, but Hashem’s - it’s about your effort.
When we put in the effort, often it comes with rejection.
Add to that the way some people can speak to us.
Or ignore us.
Or just don’t care.
Or criticize our efforts.
Or make promises and leave us chasing them for months.
However thick skinned we may be - it hurts.
Yerushalmi Peah brings a story of Reb Elazar. Aside from being the great Reb Elazar, he was also a gabbai tzedakah. He raised funds for poor people.
While he was away, some poor people came to his house. On his return, he asked his family what they did for these poor people.
‘We gave them food and drink.’ they told him.
‘What did they say?’ Reb Elazar responded.
‘They gave you such praise.’
To which Reb Elazar said
‘I don't get a great reward from this.’
The following week when Rav Elazar was out, poor people came again. His household gave them food and drink. This time, they told Reb Elazar,
‘They cursed you and said nasty things about you.’
Reb Elazar responded saying,
‘Now I get a good reward.’
Based on this, Rav Chaim Kanievsky shares, the main reward the gabbai tzedaka receives is from the embarrassment he suffers!
Don't be afraid of the difficulties and challenges. The pain or embarrassment is a sign of the greatest reward you have coming to you.
No pain. No gain.
We don’t choose the pain. But when it comes - savor it. It makes us great. And we earn nicely for it!
This week, if the going gets tough and it probably will, know you’re in great company. And assure yourself you'll be counted amongst the true superheros of our generation.
Feel great about your role. Put in your best efforts. Take pleasure in the pain.
Be the hero you truly are. You can’t fail.
Have a great fundraising week,