28 Apr Fundraising Employee of the Year
Ruth the Moabite faced a new season of life. Her husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law died so she and Naomi traveled back to Bethlehem hoping to start over. When they arrived, Ruth didn’t waste time sitting around feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she got right to work. Fundraisers can learn much from Ruth’s work ethic.
“And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor’” (Ruth 2:2). Ruth could have listed dozens of reasons of why she couldn’t be successful. She didn’t wait for something to happen but looked for opportunities to make something happen. The same attitude works in fundraising. The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
“She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters’” (Ruth 2:7). Ruth wasn’t too proud for manual labor. She was willing to do any job that need to be done. Apply her attitude to your work. Will you set up tables for events, make countless phone calls, or even lick envelopes? It’s wise to delegate tasks to others so you can focus on things only you can do, but “humility comes before honor” (Prov.18:12).
“She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter” (Ruth 2:7). Ruth was a Proverbs 31 woman who worked dawn to dusk to provide for her family. Fundraising is hard work and requires long hours. Some fundraisers are good at starting projects but tire quickly and move on to the next new idea.
“At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, ‘Why have I found such favor in your eyes’” (Ruth 2:10). Ruth was grateful for Boaz’ kindness. As fundraiser we must express our genuine appreciation for our ministry partners. Never take your donors for granted. Go out of your way to thank them for their generosity.
“So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah” (Ruth 2:17). The joy of fundraising is reaping the harvest of each gift – large or small. If you’re not seeing results, perhaps you’re not working hard enough or smart enough. Give your team realistic goals and hold them accountable.
“Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!” (Ruth 2:19) Others notice if you’re lazy or a hardworking fundraiser. What’s your fundraising reputation? Are you a worker or a shirker? Ultimately, you’re not raising money for your organization, you’re raising it for the Lord.
Think About This: “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (Ruth 2:12). Ruth worked hard and trusted God for the results.
Response: Lord, give me strength to keep working in your fields to gather the harvest.
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.