What’s so Christian about the way we do our fundraising? Is Christian fundraising nothing more than secular fundraising, with some Bible verses strewn throughout our appeals?
Three things should mark us as distinctly Christian fundraisers, and have a dramatic impact on the way we carry out our work…
1. Faith-based, not Sales-led
God’s people give to God’s work as the Spirit of God leads them. We may agree with this in our hearts, but approach our work as though it’s really all up to us. When we ask people to pray over their decision, we must be sincere in leaving the decision in God’s hands. We must do our work well by making clear presentations and a definite ask for support. But we do not ‘close the sale.’
2. Transformational, not Transactional
If we ask our donors to make a transactional giving decision, we’ll fail both our ministry and the kingdom of God. Asking supporters to give their money is different from asking them to give their heart. Our goal is not just more money, it’s to raise up godly stewards to be rich toward God. Transactional gifts are here and gone. Christian fundraising is a function of God’s work of transforming hearts, minds and purses. We’ve witnessed this transformation many times, which usually comes in the form of an ‘aha’ moment when you hear a donor say, “I thought I was helping them, but it was they who were helping me.” The secret that’s lost on so many fundraisers is this: If you take the time to participate in the transforming work God is doing in the lives of your supporters, their generosity will follow. The very best givers are those whose lives have been transformed through their involvement in your ministry.
3. Fundraising as Ministry, not a Means to an End
Too many see fundraising as a dirty work that must be endured in order that real ministry can happen. Christian fundraising is not a means to an end, it’s an end in itself. “I’m spending so much time fundraising, I can’t do ministry.” That’s a common and deeply flawed concept. When we understand that fundraising is not a necessary evil but rather a ministry of teaching and applying some of the most fundamental Biblical stewardship principles in a way that leads to spiritual transformation, then we will approach our supporters differently, we will assess our success differently, and you’ll never look at fundraising the same way again.