Why I love Fundraising

As a mother of littles, I sometimes let my current role supercede every other role. I never introduce myself as the daughter of my parents, or as the sister of my brother. That would even be absurd. Yet, introducing myself as the mother of so-and-so seems perfectly normal in my community.

But once in a while, the fact that I am a philanthropy consultant and writer — sometimes it does come out.

This weekend we were invited by our dear friend on the board to attend the Al-Falah Fundraising Dinner, the community’s first event in their freshly constructed building. And after a very long time, I felt a strong desire to write. Bismillah.

Witnessing the arc of American Muslim fundraising as a community member and a donor, I am amazed. My husband was introducing me to one of the board members who I had met virtually last year and she said, “Your fundraising training was so helpful.” I asked, what was helpful? Did you use anything from the training? She said, yes, it would be helpful for you to do another training.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I currently get paid in kisses and hugs by little kids in classes, but those words meant a lot. It reminded me that there is a responsibility we have to learn and to teach whatever it is that we know. I may have attended dozens of fundraisers in New York City as part of my job as a consultant, but thats dozens more than the next person. I have something to offer.

In a single hall, there were hundred of people of various ages, nationalities, ethnicities, classes, and colors. I see that diversity anytime I go into a masjid in New Jersey, but there is something different about coming together to build a religious home. Having a place to pray is one of those basic human rights. People who benefit from a community institution are responsible for paying for that institution, for ensuring that there is something for future generations. There is a struggle to ensure that people have a right that can so easily be cast aside by both the right and the left. As Khalid Latif described it, his grandfather made his son sit under a lamppost to study, because they had no electricity. We have so much more to offer than we think. And as a community, there is so much we can build together.

I don’t know who I am sometimes, as the daily activities of this lifestyle don’t really reconcile with my professional identity anymore.

In fact the reason for such a lull in the posts is that I have been doing some heart work, trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing, what is my purpose. It seems so apparent on some days, and completely lost on other days.

Can you relate to this feeling?

Photo by Farhan Raumarci on Pexels.com

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