Fundraising, unreturned calls and taking it personally

Fundraising makes all kind tweaks on our souls. 

Some tweaks are wonderful: increased trust in God, heart-space for community to participate alongside us in mission, things like that.  But some tweaks are painful, a self-centered insecurity.

What happens in your heart when someone doesn't return a phone call to you?

More often that I'd like, I get this sick feeling in my gut: they're avoiding me because they think I'm calling to ask them for money.  A wave of shame preceeds a shadow of self-doubt.  Am I just calling to ask them for money?  Am I a mooch? 

The hardest part about fundraising for me isn't the lack of control, it's the shame.

And the real facts don't seem to matter.

It doesn't seem to matter that my donors see themselves as supporting the ministry (not giving a handout).  It doesn't seem to matter that people are excited to give to what we're doing.  It doesn't seem to matter that in my years of campus ministry I've never made a call "just to ask for money".  Shame isn't a rational emotion.

Rationally, I know that people don't call back because they're busy, they forget, they lose numbers.  I know that they're probably happy to hear from me, probably intend to call me back.  But that doesn't seem to matter.  If any emotion can be rational ... well ... shame isn't a rational emotion.

And so I take it personally when people don't call me back ... not anger, but shame.

You may never fundraise, but this taking-it-personally is a universal human trait.  It may be a phone call or an e-mail or a social snub.  Who knows? 

Have you ever experienced shame associated with taking it personally?

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