14 Jun Secular Vs. Sacred
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
The world raises millions of dollars for temporal causes. Sometimes as Christians, we believe we are at a fundraising disadvantage compared to secular organizations. But our methods are better than the world’s because they have divine power to demolish strongholds. Overcoming the love of money and the deceitfulness of riches are fundraising strongholds. We have the advantage over the world because giving to our compelling stories produces eternal rewards.
Ultimately, generosity is not a financial decision, it’s a faith decision. Both the asker and the giver must have faith that God will provide for their needs. Secular fundraising professionals can only appeal to their donors based on how a potential gift might alleviate human problems. We can appeal to our donors with the truth that their gifts will make a physical and eternal difference in the lives of those we serve.
Paul teaches in 1 Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God.” We have the privilege of challenging our donors to place their hope in God by laying up “treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age” (v.19).
Consider this scene from Mark 10:21 about the rich young ruler, “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” This young man’s riches were preventing him from laying up treasure in heaven. Jesus loved him by challenging him to generosity which can only come from a heart changed by love.
Faith, hope, and love should guide your donor relations strategies, but the greatest of these is love.
Ron Haas, Vice President of The Timothy Group, has also 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 two books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising and Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for At the Center magazine and Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.