22 Aug Let It Be
The Beatles tune written in the 1960’s by Paul McCartney is catchy and profound! In the 3rd stanza it goes, “And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me, Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.” Please allow me to shine a bit of light on your Advancement/Stewardship planning with this song as a backdrop.
Everything I need to know about Fund Raising I learned in the Bible. There are lots of Biblical mandates about giving, sharing and asking in the Holy Writ. More verses on Stewardship in the New Testament than love and prayer combined. Consider the compelling words of Paul to his understudy Timothy in 1st Timothy 6:19-20. Three compelling truths that Paul encouraged Timothy to command those believers in Ephesus to practice: 1) Command them to do good! 2) To be rich in good deeds! 3) Be generous financially. There is that “Be” word again!
Utilize a variety of fundraising methods applied to a variety of your donor file; mail, telephone, events, personal solicitation, and media-both print and electronic. Yes you need all of these. If Jesus walked the earth here in 2014 he would be on Facebook and have a Twitter account. Apply those methods in your plan to these 5 donor markets; individuals, churches, businesses, foundations and corporations. There are other funding sources but these are the biggest.
Plan your work and then work your plan. Gracious Persistence is a tremendous virtue of a development professional. “Never give in–never, never, never, never” said Winston Churchill during some very dark days for England during WW II. The world class athlete goes at it almost every day with a sense of purpose. They know what they do today will pay off in the near and distant future.
F.U.D.-Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt have impacted many a donor visit. Believe in your message, share it with boldness and invite your donor prospects and suspects to get on board and help you accomplish the mission you are called to accomplish. Yes ask them to pray, to give generously (1st Timothy 6:20) and to be bold and be a Friend Raiser for your organization. Those 3 questions boldly, yet graciously, presented will impact your organization in an incredible way. One with eternal value!
Understand your call to the ministry of stewardship, your passion to “Disciple Stewards.” Fundraising is short term; stewardship is a lifelong pursuit in the lives of our donors. Be totally bought in to the Mission, Vision and Core Values that drive your ministry. Have those in your heart, on your mind, and flowing from your mouth. Stewardship by its very nature is Transformational, not transactional! It’s not just about the check or the wire transfer, it about the heart. Yours and theirs! Love your donors and date them often! You cannot and should not ask every time you see a donor, sometimes it’s just a thank you visit or a call to tell them that you love them and remind them their prayers and dollars are impacting eternity.
Paul McCartney said it well…Whisper Words of Wisdom, let it be! I agree with Paul…