24 Sep Passing the Donor Test
“When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed” (2 Chronicles 9:1-4).
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. once said, “I have been brought up to believe, and the conviction only grows on me, that giving ought to be entered into in just the same careful way as investing–that giving is investing and should be tested by the same intelligent standards. Whether we expect dividends in dollars or human betterment, we need to be sure the gift or the investment is a wise one and therefore we should know all about it.”
The queen of Sheba visited Solomon to see for herself if everything she heard about his wisdom and splendor was true. She brought with her expensive gifts and hard questions. No question was too difficult for him. Major donors also ask hard questions which you must be prepared to answer.
Businesspeople want to know your ministry plans make sound financial sense. They may want to review your audit, challenge your financial projections, and question your strategic plan. Major donors give generously after they believe you will manage their gift well. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (Luke 16:10).
Kingdom givers look for spiritual outcomes and resonate with everything you do to advance the Gospel. Share facts and figures demonstrating your ministry’s effectiveness. Always tell your story through the lives you have reached for Christ. Be just as concerned about your spiritual accounting as your fiscal accounting.
Wise donors know your organization must be spiritually healthy to make an eternal difference. Solomon’s kingdom was breathtaking. His palace was beautiful, the food superb, his servant’s uniforms were exquisite. She was overwhelmed as she looked in every direction. But what caught her attention the most was how happy Solomon’s people were (v. 7). The queen realized God was the reason Solomon’s court was so special. “Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you” (v. 8).
The Queen of Sheba was convinced Solomon was the real deal. She was amazed at his wisdom and how God had blessed him in every imaginable way. Will your ministry pass the donor test?
Think About This: Solomon gave the queen more than she gave him (v. 12). The same is true for your donors and you. They bless you with financial resources, but your gift to them is far greater because you give them an opportunity to lay up treasures in heaven!
Response: Father, help us reflect your glory well so our donors see you not us.
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 three books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising, Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving, and Keep on Asking – Bold, Spirit-Led Fundraising. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.