Fundraising Touches Two Worlds
Yet they can be suddenly and irretrievably gone.
And when they go, it's as if a section of the floor has fallen away, leaving a void where we used to stand. We reroute our lives around the hole, but we gradually get used to it. Until death or some other change silently blasts another one.
I had to let my cousin go. He had more calls to make. I stared into the new void — not the first, and it won't be my last.
We live in two overlapping worlds. One of them — the world of physical things — seems more real, more solid. It gets most of our attention, most of the time.
The other world — the world of people and connections and memory and love — is the truly more real. It has more weight on who we are and what we are becoming.
These people give us nearly all our meaning, understanding and joy. When they're with us, and after they're gone.
Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky said, "There is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome … than some good memory … If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in his heart, even that may sometime be the means of his salvation."
In other words, your stuff may be cool, but it's not going to save you.
Why am I telling you this?
Because fundraising is one of the places where the two worlds become one. Every one of us involved in fundraising straddles those two worlds.
Our work seems to consist of paper, ink, postal regulations, websites, spreadsheets, meetings … But more than that, fundraising is also made of a web of human contact, of people surviving and becoming, of real life playing out in the deepest sense.