Take a Fundraising Risk

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few” (1 Samuel 14:6).

Jonathan was a man of action. He wasn’t content to wait for the Philistines to attack Israel. Instead, he drew the Philistines into a fight, and they took the bait. Jonathan believed God could bring a great victory through his little act of faith. His initiative ignited a battle God used to send the Philistines running for the hills (see 1 Sam. 14:15-23). Four fundraising truths emerge from this passage.

Come, let’s go

Harry Truman said, “Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” King Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree waiting for something to happen (see 1 Sam. 14:1). In stark contrast, Jonathan created an opportunity and seized the moment. Do you “make the most of every opportunity” (Col. 4:5). Don’t be the fundraiser sitting under the shade tree, or behind your desk. Be a fundraising leader, grab a team member and say, “Let’s go!”

Perhaps the Lord

Are you a risk-taker when it comes to engaging your donors or do you prefer having every word of your donor meetings highly scripted? Being well-prepared is a great quality, but there’s something to be said for stepping out in faith and trusting God for the results. Jonathan had a simple plan, “If they say, ‘Come up to us’ that will be our sign.” Jonathan had a general idea of what he planned to do, but he trusted God to guide his steps. God can guide your donor conversations as well.

Nothing can hinder the Lord

Intellectually, we know nothing is impossible for God, but we often hesitate when it comes to taking a risk for the Lord. Fear keeps us from picking up the phone and calling a donor to schedule a meeting. If you attempt to fundraise in your own strength, you will fail. But if you rely on the Lord’s strength, he can use your small faith and accomplish amazing things.

Whether few or many

King Asa faced a million member army and cried out, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you” (2 Chron 14:11). You may be facing incredible odds, but God is looking for people to help (2 Chron. 16:9).

Think About This:
Phil was unable to connect with a certain major donor after many unsuccessful attempts. Finally, he decided to text this person he had never met. On the morning he was scheduled to be in the area, the donor texted him back, “Mr. Jones… your text surprises me. I do not know you, but I know of your ministry. I can meet this morning at 9:00 a.m.” Take a fundraising risk!

Father, give me courage to take the initiative. I praise you for acting on our behalf.

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.

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