Answer What The Donor Is Asking

“Angel, must I give again, I ask in dismay.
And must I keep giving and giving and giving it away?
Oh no, said the angel, his glance pierced me through.
Just keep giving ‘til the Lord stops giving to you.”
– Jerald Panas

Let your conversation be always full of grace,
seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6

People of wealth want to know Why. Why should they give their money to you at this time for this project? When raising money for your cause, understand that the donor is asking four Why questions. Why me? Why us? Why this? Why now? As a fundraiser, your responsibility is to graciously present your cause in an attractive way, that answers these questions helping the donor understand your ministry’s role in the mission of God in the world.

Why me?
Of the 7.9 billion people in the world, or the 331 million in the United States, why are you asking this person to make a gift to your cause? The answer to the question varies from donor to donor. Usually the answer lies in an affinity with the mission and vision of your ministry. Other times there is a historical reason. Sometimes it is a practical reason. And often it is simply the relationship that you have cultivated well over time. Whatever the reason, answering this question for the potential donor is paramount to receiving the gift.

Why us?
The impact of your mission in God’s world is important. What is the eternal impact of your mission, vision, and strategic direction? How is the face of heaven changing because of your work and service? Why should the donor choose to support your ministry? What is unique about your ministry and how are you making a difference in this world and the next? Both the temporal and eternal dimensions of your ministry are important in answering this why.

Why this?
Answering how the project you are presenting is a part of what God is doing in the world is crucial to the donor deciding if they will become involved. Does your vision, mission, values, and strategic direction further the work of His kingdom? When the project becomes a reality, would the vision and values of the eternal be infused in society? If this project would not happen, what would be missing in the world? The anticipated outcomes of your project, both temporal and eternal, are central to the donor making a decision to make a gift.

Why now?
Urgency communicates importance. Timing is often one of the most significant factors in a successful project. When a donor hears an urgency, they are motivated to make a gift.

Jules Glanzer served as a pastor and church planter for 25 years, a seminary dean at George Fox University, and the college president at Tabor College. While at Tabor, God used his efforts to raise more than $53 million with no gift over $2 million. Jules serves as an adjunct professor, mentor, senior consultant with the Timothy Group, and recently authored Money. Money. Money. Actions for Effective Fundraising.

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