12 Jul Are You The First Person A Donor Calls?
One of the scenes during the Last Supper includes the disciples arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom. Jesus taught them one last time about what it means to be a servant. Then he commends them for standing by him through all his trials. They had faithfully followed him for three years; some early followers had turned back because his teaching was too difficult to accept (see John 6:66). Jesus’ words of affirmation seem ironic on the night all his disciples would scatter. Nevertheless, Jesus in kindness shared his genuine appreciation for his remaining disciples.
Donors appreciate your presence when you stand by them in difficult life moments. Perhaps you visited them in the hospital, cried with them over a prodigal child, encouraged them through a financial crisis, or mourned with them at the graveside of a loved one. As a donor representative you have the unique privilege of accompanying your ministry partners as they walk through the dark valleys.
A True Friend…
Jim is a development director who genuinely cares for his donors. They aren’t just names on his donor portfolio, they are close friends. Bill and Mary had supported Jim’s ministry faithfully over the years. For one capital campaign, Jim challenged them to consider a $1 million gift. Even though Bill had the financial capacity, he resisted and told Jim, “I hope the fact that we can’t give this gift won’t harm our friendship.” Jim responded, “Bill, nothing could come between us. I am just grateful for the privilege of asking you for a gift of this size. Not everyone has this ability.”
During Times of Trial.
Bill and Mary prayed about the gift. Two weeks later Bill called Jim and said, “Mary and I have been thinking and talking. God has been so good to us and we want to give that gift.” Jim expressed his incredible thankfulness for Bill and Mary’s generosity. Now the rest of the story: Several years later, Bill passed away and Jim was the first person Mary called. She sent her private jet to pick up Jim so he could fly to Florida and accompany her as they brought Bill’s body home. She did not ask her sons—she asked Jim.
What true friend are you standing by during times of trial?
Ron Haas, Vice President of The Timothy Group, has also served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored two books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising and Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for At the Center magazine and Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.