24 May The Confident Fundraiser
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
How do you approach fundraising? Some trust their education, years of experience, great strategies, or even their winning personality. All these rely on human efforts. Fundraising is spiritual work that requires spiritual tools. Jesus taught, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). If your fundraising work implements the latest, greatest strategies and tactics you might succeed from a world perspective but will accomplish nothing for eternity. Instead, yield your plans to the Lord and seek his guidance for your every move.
Notice how Jeremiah describes fruitfulness:Planted by the Water
As a ministry leader, you must pursue a growing relationship with the Lord. Don’t go through spiritual motions; ground yourself in the word. It’s too easy to get caught up with the tasks you believe God wants you to do and neglect who God wants you to be. Are you closer to the Lord today than when you first started fundraising?No Fear When Heat Comes
Fundraising is the ministry front line. Have you faced the heat yet? Heat comes from many sources: antagonism from those who oppose your mission, disgruntled constituents who question a decision, board members or staff with different agendas, or miscommunication among your team members. You won’t have all the answers but seek to resolve issues with humble confidence.Leaves are Always Green
When your root system is firmly connected with the living water, you will always have a fresh perspective of your situation. Much of fundraising relies on optimism. Joy and confidence from the Lord can overflow to your donors and staff.No Worries in a Year of Drought
Perhaps you are experiencing a fundraising drought. Don’t worry. “The pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (Matthew 6:32). Work as hard as you can and pray that God will open “the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (Malachi 3:10).Never Fails to Bear Fruit
Sure, we all want the fruit of more donors and dollars than last year, but what about the spiritual fruit you bore in the lives of your donors? How did you challenge them grow in the grace of giving? How did you encourage them to lay up treasures in heaven? Seek fruit that will last.
Response: Father, forgive me for trying to bear fundraising fruit in my own strength. Prompt me to invest more time in prayer to implement the right strategies that yield eternal fruit.
Think About This: When you face a God-sized goal, be sure to reflect all the glory to him when he enables you to achieve it! “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:8).
Have a Spirit-led week!
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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 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.