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“Rejection is God’s Protection”
Nonprofit Management

Dawn Robinson, CFRE, Vice President


“Rejection is God’s Protection.” I heard this phrase recently from Jamie Kern Lima, founder of IT Cosmetics, on the EntreLeadership Podcast. The truth of it struck me hard.

I thought about all the times our Cramer team had put hours upon hours into a proposal or presentation to a nonprofit organization we wanted to work with, only to hear they had gone with another consulting firm. Looking back now, I recall that every time this happened, we were then blessed with two or three new clients that truly fit with us—our mission, our process, and our values.

The phrase also applies to our nonprofit partners. Who hasn’t spent hours crafting just the right grant application, only to be declined? Maybe you finally landed that meeting with the elusive multimillionaire philanthropist in your community, only to hear, “Thanks, but this isn’t a good fit for us.” Ugh! You are heartbroken, and now you have to tell your executive leaders and Board that you did not land that big gift.

But what if that rejection was God’s protection? 

What if that rejection helped you strengthen your next five pitches to other philanthropists who really understood your mission and vision? What if it helped you craft a clearer and more concise grant? Or what if that rejection helped you and your team move on and open your minds to new, better opportunities?

Over the past two decades, I have witnessed these scenarios play out hundreds of times. Rejection has often been a blessing in disguise for our nonprofit partners. It has taught them valuable lessons and freed them to focus on building long-lasting relationships with donors who really want to see them succeed.

We would love to hear your stories about how rejection has protected or propelled your organization!


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