Thursday, January 24, 2013

Don't forget the rest of us

Years ago a new donor said something to me that didn't make sense at the time. This donor, who I'll call Jim, had just finished writing a check. As he handed it to me, he said, "Don't forget the rest of us."

What did he mean?

Jim was a hard-working guy whose business was doing okay - not bad, not great. He cared well for his wife and children, paid his taxes, served in his church, reached out to his neighbors and supported missions. Jim believed in the work God had called me to and wanted to help. In many ways, Jim was an "average" donor. And that's the key to understanding his comment.

Jim knew that fundraisers had a difficult, humbling and time-consuming job. He knew that I would experience ups and downs, joy and sorrow, times of plenty and times of want.

In other words, I'd be just like Jim.

"Don't forget the rest of us."

As I honestly evaluate my own heart over the past 10+ years of fundraising, I realize how important his words are and how easily I forget them. Yes, fundraising is hard. So is what everyone else does. Yes, I can get lonely. Does anyone not? There are times when I want to quit and do something else. Once again, that doesn't make me special. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do: you need to be reminded of the gospel constantly - just like everyone else.

This blog is written for fundraisers by a fundraiser. It's written because I know firsthand the struggles that come with fundraising and I also know firsthand the grace that comes with Jesus Christ. So please don't hear me saying, "Suck it up... everyone else struggles too."

Rather, hear me saying, "Don't forget the rest of us."

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.(Philippians 2:3 ESV)