21 Aug Donors Are More Than Supporters
“Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.” (3 John 5-8)
The Apostle John commended his friend Gaius for his generosity in supporting several believers on their journeys even though they were strangers to him. This is a wonderful example of the relationship between missionaries and their supporting team members. Those who support your organization are more than donors; they are your ministry partners. As such, we should engage them as partners in prayer, advice, concern, as well as their financial resources.
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was an African American civil rights leader and founder of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). In his many roles, he became a skillful fundraiser and wrote about some of his experiences in his autobiography, Up From Slavery.
“I called on a gentleman who received me in the most cordial manner. He wrote me his check for a generous sum, and then, before I had an opportunity to thank him, said, ‘I am so grateful to you, Mr. Washington, for giving me the opportunity to help in a good cause. It is a privilege to have a share in it. We in Boston are constantly indebted to you for doing our work.’”
Do you express to your donors that they are worth more than money to you? Sometimes we communicate a “They Give/We Serve” attitude. Start framing your appeals by emphasizing to your ministry partners, “You can provide…” “You can impact…” “You can rescue…” You can educate…” Thank them from the same perspective, “You have made an eternal impact…” “Your giving introduced many people to Jesus for the first time.” “Through your generosity you have been the hands and feet of Jesus.”
See your work through your ministry partners’ eyes.
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.