29 October 2014

The Stupid Dumb Truth About Fundraising

My family's Underwood has been on display in our home for over forty seven years. It is the one my dad used over the years for taxes, I used to practice upon, and our kids played with.....quite an artifact! K.W.

I haven't written.

And I don't just mean published - I haven't even written anything.

I just can't.

I have been all consumed by the support raising process. Fundraising. Development. "Friendraising." You can call it whatever you want, it remains the same. And I am exhausted. Beyond exhausted. I don't even know what I am anymore.

Exhausted is what my toddler makes me when he wants to have a dance party for 30 minutes straight (dance parties with Rory involve a lot of running, jumping, and dipping low). Beyond exhausted is where I am living with fundraising. Enervated maybe? No, I think I have hit a stage beyond what the English language allows me.

71 Churches Contacted
20 Covenant Camps Contacted
6 Church Invites
2 Supporting Churches
30 Individual Supporters

I can't even tell you how utterly depressed this makes me. I have emailed every church within our conference and then some that aren't. I have tried to make it clear what we are going to do, even though I am unclear of it myself. I have read every book and just addressed 60 envelopes to people I don't really know, but knew me as a kid. I read blogs and advice, try to think of "creative fundraising methods," whatever that means. Emailing, reading, re-emailing, googling, calling, writing, addressing, labeling, stamping - I do this shit for hours upon hours.

And then?

I cry. I feel like this maybe isn't what I am supposed to be doing. I feel like maybe I am absolutely out of my mind. I feel like if this had been the right path, it would have happened for us already. I feel like a failure, like I'm not doing something right. And I literally don't know what else to do.

But here's the stupid part - the extra stupid part, anyway - I also don't feel like I'm allowed to let it go. Oh yah, you read me right. As soon as I sit down and cry and vent and think, "Maybe this is the end of this dream," I just a swift kick in the spine (literally) that reminds me that I don't get to quit. It's not that time, at least, not yet anyway.

I still believe in what we are going to do. Sure, I feel called by God to it, but you don't have to believe in God to understand it.

We are going to Oaxaca to learn about the people and the culture and walk with them as we try to figure out a way to eradicate poverty through education and sustainability; what that entails and how we can make it happen together.

It's not that complicated. Yet it seems damn near impossible to get anyone on board with that dream. And I don't know what else to do. I just don't. Every time I ask for advice, I feel everyone very genuinely telling me to do all of the things I have already done - sometimes out of the goodness of their hearts and sometimes out of other places...

There really is no point to any of this except to say: I haven't written. And I don't know that I will for awhile. I just don't have it in me. But I love you all and hope to be back to you soon.