16 Aug Turning Followers Into Donors
“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means” (Luke 8:1-3).
All ministries share a common question, “How do we find more donors?” Wouldn’t it be nice if you could access a magical database of new major donors ready to help you accomplish your mission? A better question is, “Do you recognize potential donors who already know and love you?”
How can you begin turning followers into donors? Focus your donor research on four prospective donor pools:
People you have helped.
Whenever you read a list of women in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene tops the list. Mary became a follower of Jesus when he delivered her from the terrifying torment of demons. She was present at his anointing, his burial, and was one of the first to see him after the resurrection. Donors who have been radically impacted by your ministry are intensely loyal.
People who are following you.
Luke records that these women followed Jesus and his disciples from town to village as he preached the gospel. They resonated with his message and sacrificed time and energy to hear every word. Jesus healed Joanna, and even though her husband had social status, she followed him clear to the garden tomb (see Luke 24:10).
People who are helping you.
These women served Jesus and the disciples as they journeyed. They invested their time, talent and their treasure. They “were helping to support them out of their own means” (vs.3). This is the only time we meet Susanna, but what a great way to be remembered. Treat your volunteers with love, kindness, and respect because many times the first gift from your major donors is $100.
Scripture only names these three women, but there were many others who joined Jesus and his disciples on his preaching tour. When your major donors become passionate about your ministry, they invite their friends to join them. Develop an intentional plan to identify, cultivate and solicit those on your donor list.
Have a Spirit-led fundraising week,
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.