Because of You

“I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people (Philemon 1:6-7).

Paul had a special relationship with his friend Philemon. He wrote this personal reconciliation letter on behalf of Onesimus who ran away from Philemon, ran into Paul, and met Jesus. Paul’s letter is a wonderful example of how to write an effective donor letter. Notice all the donor-centric language he uses.

Your Partnership. Paul viewed Philemon as a partner, not just a donor who supported his ministry. Paul’s role in this spiritual partnership was to deepen Philemon’s faith in Christ. You play an important role in the spiritual maturity of your ministry partners. You can pray, share Scripture, counsel, grieve, comfort, guide, and walk along side of your donors as they experience life’s joys and sorrows. For some, you can even become closer to them than their pastor.

Your Love. Donor relationships thrive on a foundation of love. Paul had experienced Philemon’s love firsthand many times. He didn’t take their relationship for granted but expressed how much Philemon’s love had given him joy and encouragement. Do you tell your ministry partners how much they mean to you?

You Have Refreshed. Paul doesn’t stop with a brief “thank you,” he paused and emphasized how much Philemon meant to him and the family of believers. “Because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people” (Philemon 1:7). Those words had to strike a chord in Philemon’s heart. No doubt, he was just grateful that God had used him to bless others.

Jerry Panas, the godfather of fundraising, coined the acronym BOY – “Because of you…” What an incredible way to start your donor conversations, “Because of you lives have been impacted for eternity.” Consider using these phrases to engage your ministry partners:

You play an integral role through your prayers and generosity.

You can give to help people whose greatest desire is a warm meal.

Your compassion and unselfish giving will make an eternal difference.

• Because of your gift…

• This is your compassion at work in the lives of children.

• We know you have choices for how to donate your money we are honored that you would choose to provide help to these needy families.

• Every time you give, you are making a lasting difference.

You can transform…

Your love rescues…

You help make their future bright.

• That is where you come in.

You can get involved…

• God used you to provide hope for hungry children and families.

How interesting that Paul understood the power of “you” centuries before Panas.

Response: Father, thank you for Paul’s example of treating his ministry partners as intimate friends. Please remind me to always show my gratitude for the important role they play in our ministry.

Think about this: What are some specific ways you can help your ministry partners grow in their walk with Christ? Perhaps God brought them to your ministry so you could minister to them.

Have a Spirit-led fundraising week,


Ron Haas has 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.

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