Donor Doves

“When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth” (Genesis 8:11).

For 40 days and 40 nights, God brought judgment on the earth. Rain poured down from heaven and the waters of the deep were released. When it stopped, Noah opened the window he had built and dispatched a raven for an aerial reconnaissance mission. The raven flew back and forth across the waters and never returned. Then Noah sent out a dove to see if the waters had gone down; it could find no place to perch so it returned. Seven days later, Noah again released the dove to see if the water had receded. This time the dove brought back an olive leaf in its beak—a small symbol of hope. This amazing account can teach us four truths about the major donor doves who support your work.

Donor Doves Test Your Assumptions.

How do you know when to move forward with your strategic plan? What indicators do you look for? One important strategy is listening to your key major donors. These people know and love your ministry and your constituency. They listen to the Spirit and they listen to those who are impacted by your ministry. Their feedback about the timing and circumstances for stepping out of the boat is invaluable.

Donor Doves Are Loyal.

Some donors and even board members act like the raven Noah released. He got out as quick as he could and never came back. When you’re ready to launch a capital campaign, you will discover who your friends really are. Some leave because they know your new initiative will cost them time and money. “They left us, but they were never really with us. If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end” (1 John 2:9, MSG).

Donor Doves are Honest.

Be wary of “yes men” who rubber stamp your every idea. Winston Churchill declared, “If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.” Gather people around you who will speak truth into your situation. The dove returned with nothing. Honest feasibility studies are a gift. If you don’t have the financial support for your idea, it’s critical that you know before you start a campaign so you can correct your deficiencies.

Donor Doves Give Hope.

The second time Noah released the dove, it returned with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Imagine the joy and hope Noah and his family felt after spending 150 days in the ark! Donor doves give you a little ray of hope when you face the future. Maybe they give seed money to underwrite your feasibility study or pay for your initial architectural drawings. Their early support can give you confidence to move forward.

Response: Father, I praise you for those key donors to our ministry that come alongside and give us hope when we need it.

Think About This: The presence of Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove (Matthew 3:16). Find donors who will encourage you to listen to the Spirit’s voice about the right next step for your ministry.

Have a Spirit-led week!

Ron

If this devotional encouraged you, please forward it to a friend!


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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