Schnorer or Partnership Solicitor
A wealthy Jewish businessman was once walking down a busy Manhattan street corner. He passes a Jewish man with a beard and a tattered suit holding out a Tzedakah box. The wealthy man passes the schnorer with a disgusted grunt. Then he sees a well dressed man with a priest collar standing with a sign asking for support for the homeless. Making sure that the schnorer sees him, he gives the priest a $100 bill. Then as he walks away he turns to the schnorer and says “why do you have to be such a shlimazel, why can’t you be more like the good father over there”?
The schnorer turns to the priest and says, “Yankel, look who’s tell us how to do our business”?!
I had the good fortune before going out on Shlichus to participate in a two day seminar with Rabbi Yisroel Brod. Of all the things I learned during those two days, one thing clicked with me that has helped me immensely in my Shlichus. I am extremely grateful to Rabbi Brod for this!
I am not a schnorer, I’m giving people the opportunity to partner with us, to partner with the Rebbe, to partner in our Shlichus.
The Rebbe once said in regards to the Frierdiker Rebbe, that the Rebbe’s rotzon will be accomplished, the only question is whether we will have a part of it.
The same can be said of our work and the people we solicit for partnership in it. We will accomplish whatever we need to do and whatever we set our mind to accomplish. The specific question is only if this particular donor will have the zechus to be a part of it.
With these two beliefs (a. that the work will be accomplished with or without this particular donor and b. that we are giving people a zechus to partner with us) our entire attitude to every aspect of fundraising changes.
I’m not saying that it becomes easy and comfortable. The fear of fundraising, for you may be like the beinoni; it may be something you struggle with forever. But intellectually and spiritually, it becomes another part of your Shlichus and another mitvtza we try to inspire in others.
In general my point above needs to be reflected inside of you internally, a thought process that work on integrating into your avodah. However, there are circumstances where this can be articulated plainly to the potential donor/partner. Take into consideration your relationship with the donor as well as the personality of the donor and his willingness to be inspired by a message like the one above. If he is keli for it then go for it.
Most important however, is to not let fear or discomfort get in the way of us accomplishing our Shlichus, of which fundraising and giving opportunities for donors to partner with us, is a critical part.
- S Prev