Who Do You Know?

“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 champing at the bit to give generously? A better question is, “Do you recognize potential donors who already know and love you?” You should mine your donor database to discover friends you’ve missed. Focus your donor research on four prospective donor pools.

People you have helped

Mary Magdalene is one of the most recognizable women in Scripture. Mary believed in Jesus when he delivered her from the terrifying torment of demons. She followed him all the way to the cross and was one of the first to see him after the resurrection. Donors who have been radically impacted by your ministry are intensely loyal. They believe in what you do because you changed their life. You may not have helped a donor directly, but you may have significantly influenced their child.

People who are following you

Luke records 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 Jesus clear to the garden tomb (see Luke 24:10). Pay attention to those who follow you. If you send an email newsletter, track who opens it on a consistent basis. Open rates are a strong indicator of someone’s interest in your ministry.

People who are helping you

These women served Jesus and the disciples as they journeyed. They invested their time, talent, and their treasure “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. What ways to serve do you offer? Can a volunteer mentor a child, help in the food pantry, or teach English to someone? Find some creative opportunities, then honor them for their service.

Their friends

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. Ask your volunteers to invite their friends to hear about volunteer opportunities with your ministry. Their friends will consider serving because of the great experience they have enjoyed.

Think About This:
How can you proactively identify, cultivate, and solicit women on your donor list? Look for volunteers who become donors. Treat them with love, kindness, and respect because many times the first gift from your major donors started with $100.

Father, forgive me for overlooking women who are already involved in our ministry. Please help us make everyone feel loved and appreciated.

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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