06 May Create Input Goals
“Successful fundraising is the right person asking
the right prospect for the right amount for the
right project at the right time in the right way.”
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God
has been making it grow. So neither the one who
plants nor the one who waters is anything, but
only God, who makes things grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6-7
In real estate, there are three factors in a successful project or purchase… Location. Location. Location. The same is true in fundraising. There are three factors in a successful campaign. See the people. See the people. See the people. And may I add a fourth… See what God will do.
For over 60 years, the institution I served as president had longed for an auditorium. Land on campus was designated for it. The board had already named it. It was part of the fundraising effort for two capital campaigns. But each time they fell short of raising the needed funds to build it.
A pre-campaign study determined there was significant pent-up desire to build an auditorium, so we launched a campaign. Many voices kept telling us we would fail. Our vision was too big. The cost was too high. The facility was too extravagant. Even the board had a “go ahead and try” attitude. Throughout the campaign right up to the last $1 million push to pay for the entire 52,000 square foot facility debt free, we were told it could not be done. The Dedication Weekend was a huge celebration like nothing the college had ever experienced in its history. The Shari Flaming Center for the Arts was dedicated debt free. There were many factors in the success of the campaign, but the one principle we practiced diligently and religiously was what we affectionately called “The 4 Sees.” See the People. See the People. See the People. See what God will Do.
There is no substitute for sitting down face to face with a potential donor and presenting your case asking them for a gift. Fly-ins, banquets, events, mass mailings, slick brochures, you name the means and method, nothing is as successful as sitting down, looking the donor in the eye, and communicating the purpose, the vision, the need, and making an ask.
In fundraising, measure your input goals, which you can control. The results of your goals come from the Lord moving the hearts of the people we see. We do not control their hearts and motives. At best we only influence them. The most important input goal is how many people are you seeing. That is how the holy partnership works. We make the call. God moves the hearts to give.
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.