15 Mar Search and Refresh
“Onesiphorus often refreshed me. when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.” (2 Timothy 1:16-18)
The greatest challenge for many non-profits is finding more donors. Onesiphorus could be the patron saint of donor research. He was Paul’s colleague in Ephesus who searched hard for him until he found him in Rome. You may need to revive old friendships like Onesiphorus with Paul, or you may be searching for new potential ministry partners.
Onesiphorus’ 4-step process works for both:
Search Hard. We are blessed to live in the information age, but there is no one magic database to answer the question, “Where’s Waldo?” Task a team or recruit some volunteers to research Facebook, LinkedIn, and your old student directories to update your donor information. Perhaps you should consider subscribing to an address search service.
Find. Onesiphorus was persistent. He didn’t have our modern research tools. Instead, he had old-fashioned sandal-leather and began knocking on doors and talking with anyone who would listen. A board member once said to me, “Everyone in our organization needs to be constantly in conversations with people to find out where God is hiding money!” Networking is your best donor research strategy.
Help. What is your motivation for finding new donors? Is it so they can help you, or is it so you can help them? Our overarching donor engagement perspective should be to help donors grow in the grace of giving (2 Cor. 8:7). Paul said, “Not that I desire your gifts, what I desire is that more be credited to your account” (Phil. 4:17).
Refresh. Onesiphorus refreshed Paul again and again. Do you encourage and re-energize your donors? Are they invigorated by your mission, vision and results? Do your donors love to see you coming because of the joy you bring them? “Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).
Search hard, find, help and refresh your donors.
May you have a Spirit-led fundraising week!