31 Mar Give Me This Fundraising Mountain!
“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said” (Joshua 14:12 NKJV).
Moses sent twelve spies into the Promised Land to see if it really was flowing with milk and honey (see Num. 13). They brought back amazing stories and a single cluster of grapes so enormous two of them had to carry it on a pole between them. Despite the abundance, ten spies focused on the giants, and saw themselves as grasshoppers in comparison. Joshua and Caleb saw things differently. Caleb proclaimed, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Num. 13:30). Unfortunately, their enthusiasm couldn’t overcome the bad report the other ten spread throughout the camp. As a result, the Israelites refused to move forward by faith, and God forced them to wander in the wilderness for forty years.
Fast forward forty-five years. Joshua has conquered the land and is dividing the spoils among the tribes, when Caleb comes forward to collect the inheritance Moses had promised. Caleb’s faith encourages us to take on fundraising challenges that others deem impossible.
Caleb was an exceptional leader because he had a different attitude (see Num. 14:24). Everyone else was worried about the BUGs (Big Unfriendly Giants) in their fortified cities and talked themselves out of victory before they even started. Caleb didn’t deny the challenges, he just saw them as opportunities. Successful fundraising requires a positive outlook. Donors aren’t eagerly waiting for you to ask them for money. Don’t talk yourself out of asking by thinking, “this major donor will never give to our project.” If you don’t ask, you’ll never know how they will respond.
Steve Jobs made this observation, “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” Caleb “followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly” (Josh. 14:14). He stayed passionate about claiming his inheritance. As a fundraiser, do you believe in your ministry? If you are not passionate, why will your donor be? Is fundraising a calling, or merely a job? Fundraising is no place for the halfhearted.
You won’t be successful through your own efforts. Fundraising is a divine-human effort. The Lord must turn hearts toward your ministry, but you must ask for the gift. “The Lord caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for” (Ex. 12:36 NLT). Caleb trusted in the Lord, rolled up his sleeves, and started fighting giants, “the Lord helping me, I will drive them out” (Josh. 14:12).
Think About This: If you have a fundraising dream but others don’t, pray that God will lead new people to your ministry who will catch your vision.
Response: Father, please give me the fundraising mountains you’ve promised. Give me strength and perseverance to keep asking. Give me faith like Caleb.
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.