26 Aug Face to Face Fundraising
“I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name” (3 John 13-14).
The Apostle John wrote two brief letters to encourage a “lady chosen by God and to her children” (2 John), and his dear friend Gaius (3 John). In both letters John comments that he had much more to write but instead wanted to speak with his friends face to face. Let’s glean four fundraising principles from John’s desire for personal interaction.
Writing vs Talking
Email marketers use your first name and write copy like you are old friends who haven’t talked in ages. Everyone knows it’s spam but sometimes it sounds so real you forget. Communicating a personal message with paper, pen, ink, and email is challenging. Think of how many times your texts, or emails have been misinterpreted because your readers can’t hear your tone of voice. You may be a great writer, but you are much more effective in person.
Visit Your Donors
Get out from behind your computer screen and go visit your donors. John desired to see his friends face to face and tell them firsthand the great things God was accomplishing. Fundraising is not just about sharing your ministry story; it’s about sharing life together, catching up on how God is working in their family, sharing prayer requests, and encouraging one another. Donor communication is more than words on a page; it’s a relationship that should be a two-way conversation: listening, caring, asking questions, sharing answers.
Joy & Peace
Sargent Joe Friday, in the TV show Dragnet (1951-59) was famous for getting right to the heart of the matter, hence his famous catchphrase when interrogating female witnesses: “Just the facts, ma’am.” Personal meetings communicate more than facts and figures. John shared joy and peace. You should share joy—the joy of being together, joy in how God is changing lives because of their partnership, and joy in their generosity! Share peace—God called you to be a peacemaker. How are your donor’s gifts helping sinners find peace with God and peace with others?
John loved God and he loved people. He wasn’t an aloof elder writing from an ivory tower. He connected on a personal level with friends and wanted his friends to connect with one another. Find ways to introduce your ministry partners to your co-workers and board members. The more connections your ministry has with a donor, the less likely the donor will become disinterested.
Response: Lord, forgive me for relying too much on letters and emails. Help me schedule time to visit my ministry partners face to face.
Think About This: The most effective fundraising strategy is face to face conversations with your ministry partners. What’s holding you back? Whom should you visit this week and ask to partner with you?