Fear of Rejection and Fundraising

Friday, January 9, 2009
I have been a Christian for at least 15 years. But I haven't been very good about sharing my faith. The fact is, I'm scared to death of what people think of me. I am afraid of rejection, afraid that I might not know the answer to something, and afraid that my life doesn't measure up.

Unlike my Christian life, I've been fairly fearless when it comes to fundraising for cystic fibrosis. Having a daughter who is going to live or die based on current and future research is surely a kick in the pants for me. This says something about my faith I'm sure. I need it to be more important to me, which is why I embarked on a goal of reading all the way through the Bible this year. I need God to be a more important part of my life.

Still, even with my fearless attitude in fundraising, sometimes I get fearful when approaching someone. I was not surprised to read that the best way to get over fear of rejection is to stop taking it personally. Says Donna M. Butts, CFRE of David G. Bauer Associates, Inc., "non-profit fundraisers have to learn not to take rejection personally." That's the same advice that Bill Fay gives in his awesome book, Share Jesus Without Fear.

But sometimes I do. Especially with my faith, but also with my fundraising. I take things personally. And why not? I chose Christ, so why shouldn't it hurt if someone rejects what I have to say on his behalf? I chose cystic fibrosis fundraising, so why shouldn't it sting a little when someone tells me "no"?

Still, I don't want it to hurt when I share about either thing. So what do you tell people when it comes to rejection? How do you get past it?


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

With the Christian faith it helps to realize they aren't rejecting ME but rejecting Christ. You can't separate my faith from me and have a real understanding of who I am. Fund raising for CF is similar for you guys because of Sam. It is intensely and deeply personal for you. It's impossible to separate CF from your lives and still understand who you are because the disease has impacted your actions, thoughts, and attitudes.

Back to your question.. I think the hurt depends on who is doing the rejecting. If it's a stranger or someone I barely know the pain of rejection is minor but if it's someone close to me it hurts a lot more.

Instead of trying to get rid of the pain maybe we should use it as a motivator to seek other ways of sharing our message, as well as sharing it with more people - regardless of whether the message is CF or Christ.

Dan said...

I like what you say about the difference between a stranger and someone I know. Usually that is how the pain of rejection (and even the fear before the pain) is differentiated. If it's a stranger, it's one thing, but if it's someone I know, it can be rough indeed.
I never thought about how to use it as a motivator, but I will now! Tools and numbers of people...sounds like a plan.