I’ve noticed a phenomenon during this time of the year that seems to be relevant to all of us. It’s something called donor fatigue. According to the world wide web, donor fatigue is when people no longer give to charities, although they have donated in the past.
Some of the causes include pressure to donate and overstretched budgets.
Now although this phenomenon seems legitimate, I was thinking of ways we can challenge it by a simple and crucial shift in our mindset. So let us reflect and address some of the mentalities that lead us to feel this way.
“𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦.”
This translates to what psychologists refer to as diffusion of responsibility. The moment we see others in the same crowd facing the same problem, we will deflect the responsibility away from us. Hence why we keep tapping next or we skip ad, whenever we come across a charitable organization.
This is a natural human inclination that we must constantly work on. No one likes to exert effort because we like ease. However, when we act on this inclination continuously, it can result in negative impacts on our environments and communities.
𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐟𝐭: 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐲 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬.
“𝘐𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘮𝘦.”
We are less likely to help situations that don’t affect us directly. This is why we are failing our environment. We all see the sea animals being hurt by our waste production, but does that stop us from buying plastic? Most of us would say no. But as Muslims, this is a mentality that we need to fight consistently because we are one body – If one part aches, all of us ache together.
𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐟𝐭: It is 𝐦𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐨𝐨.
“𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯…”
We all say it right? The problem with this mentality is that it projects ownership of wealth to oneself. If we truly attribute our wealth to Allah, then the moment we are faced with an opportunity to give for His sake, we would do it in a heartbeat.
We are encouraged to give from WHAT we HAVE now. Not from what we WILL have in the future. The act of giving was always about sacrifice at the present moment.
𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐟𝐭: 𝐌𝐲 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐇𝐢𝐦. 𝐆𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐰 and 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐰
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦?”
The problem with this mentality is that it portrays giving as a means of others’ gain. We say things like, ‘What difference will $5 make?” The reality is that we were never ‘giving’ for the sake of the charity itself. We are always giving for Allah. And when we give for the sake of Allah, then no amount is ever too little or too high.
𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐟𝐭: 𝐆𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲.
If we shape our mentality correctly around the act of giving, then it should prevent us from feeling donor fatigue during this time of the year. And lastly, the most productive mindset regarding the act of giving is to see it as an opportunity that is carefully selected for you. Nothing happens in vain.
Abu Musa reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A time will come to people when a man will go around with gold to give in charity but he will find no one to accept it…”