26 Feb Celebrate Your Fundraising Successes
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).
Scripture records many times when God’s people remembered the Lord’s blessing in their lives. Samuel erected a stone to memorialize Israel’s victory over the Philistines. “Ebenezer” means “Thus far has the Lord helped us.” Every time someone walked by the “Stone of Help” they would pause, reflect, and rejoice because the Lord’s great victory. We can learn five important fundraising lessons about celebrating your victories.
This victory was special (see 1 Sam. 7:7-11). Israel asked Samuel to cry out to the Lord on their behalf. Samuel prayed and the LORD cracked a loud thunder over the Philistines scaring the daylights out of them and giving Israel a resounding victory. There was no question, God showed up in a miraculous way. We should approach our fundraising challenges with the same attitude. We will succeed only if God provides! If you could succeed by yourself, you would take all the credit.
As fundraisers we are so focused on achieving our current and future needs, we sometimes neglect to celebrate how God has already blessed. Our all-consuming goal is the annual operating fund deadline on June 30th, then on July 1st we start all over on next year’s budget. We push right through and forget to thank God for his provision. We also forget to celebrate and thank our donors for how God used them to help us. Give your team and your donors a sense of accomplishment.
How will you remember your donors who helped you accomplish your successful capital campaign? Some create thank you walls listing all the donors who contributed. Others record the list of donors in the annual report or remembrance book. Perhaps you could host a special worship service or celebration banquet. Whatever you do to thank your donors, be sure to reflect all the praise to the Lord. “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another” (Isa. 42:8).
Samuel added “thus far” to his inscription. Just because you celebrate, doesn’t mean you’re finished raising money. You have more spiritual work to do and more lives to change. You will need your donors’ help for the next victory. Don’t short-change your celebration event by launching the next campaign. Be sure to communicate 100% gratitude and 0% ask. There will be plenty of time to cast your next vision.
When you celebrate what the Lord has done, you inspire the next generation fundraisers to also walk by faith. “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known” (Hab. 3:2). Just as you have been encouraged by those who’ve gone before you, give those who come behind you something to strive for. God can do it again!
Think About This: Don’t forget, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17).
Response: Lord, you have graciously provided for us. We give you all the glory for our success!
Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice