Bring Joy to Your Donors

“May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.” (Psalm 119:74)

Perhaps you’ve seen this funny poster, “Everyone brings joy to this office. Some when they enter. Some when they leave.” Major donor work involves face to face visits in people’s homes or offices. We all bring joy to our donors, but is it when we arrive or leave? Are they glad to welcome you, or do they hide behind the curtains hoping you will think they’re not home? What can you do to make sure you bring joy to your donors? This simple verse shares four key insights.

I have put my hope in your word.
No matter what your mission statement is, the reason your ministry exists is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. You are not just providing a quality education; you are instilling principles from God’s word. You are not just feeding the hungry, you are hoping your guests will respond to God’s kindness. You are not just caring for physical needs; you are caring for souls. Your ministry partners love you because you have put your hope in the Word and are attempting to do what it says.

May those who fear you
Your commitment to the Bible limits your potential donor pool. Some secular donors may appreciate the temporal work you do even though they don’t resonate with your eternal work. Should you take money from those who don’t align with your faith? Salvation Army founder William Booth is often quoted as saying, “the problem with tainted money is there t’aint enough.” Yet, recent scandals from high profile donors are prompting some nonprofit organizations to have reconsider their policies.

Generosity stirs emotions of the giver and the receiver. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). You think you’re excited to receive a large gift, but your donors are even more excited to give it. The Macedonians gave a sacrificial gift to Paul so he could share with the poor believers suffering in Jerusalem. Paul was amazed at their generosity, “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (2 Corinthians 8:2).

When they see me
Face to face fundraising is the gold standard strategy for connecting with your ministry partners. Many ministry leaders find it very difficult to visit with their donors. A very successful grandparent was identified in a feasibility study. He loved his grandchildren and had given, but the school’s development director had never visited him. The director even said, “If you lined him up in a crowd, I couldn’t identify him.” Unfortunately, the donor had no idea what the development director looked like either.
Think About This: Follow Paul’s example, “And they praised God because of me” (Galatians 1:24). In your desire to visit your donors, don’t overstay your welcome. A pastor had a reputation for making long hospital calls. He thought spending enormous amounts of time showed how much he cared, but he didn’t understand the law of diminishing returns.
Response: Father, forgive me for not spending quality time with my key donors. Help me make personal visits a primary strategy for engaging our donors.

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 three books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising, Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving, and Keep on Asking – Bold, Spirit-Led Fundraising. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for  Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.

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