How people use their possessions is a testimony to others—a kind of trademark that shows people who a person is and what they believe.
There’s an eternal link between our possessions and our soul—and we need to help people realize that connection.
Only as we understand the relationship between spiritual growth and faithful stewardship can we embrace fundraising as a ministry. Instead of being based in techniques that are designed to solicit higher donations, a fundraising ministry is based on God-honoring principles, including the following:
- Focus on your supporter’s relationship with God and second on meeting the financial needs of your organization.
- See your primary job as helping people become generous by helping them grow in the understanding that God owns everything.
- View your role as a shepherd of the stewards of God’s possessions by designing programs that move believers to disciples.
- Support givers through a consistent program of prayer and personal interaction, accepting the fact that it’s the Holy Spirit, not your personality that influences people’s lives.
- Use language and behavior that reinforces a single Kingdom worldview. For example, ask a person to give because of what God has blessed them with, rather than what you need. If someone wants to give to another area of God’s work, praise God for that decision instead of expressing disappointment.
- Create a written statement that explains your organizations’ approach to givers as God’s stewards, and state your commitment to complete integrity.
- Embrace an integrated approach to the organization’s program goals and the acquisition process. Fundraising goals must be consistent with how you see God working in people’s hearts.
- Believe there are eternal consequences for how people use their possessions and accept you have a responsibility for the spiritual formation of your supporters.
- See your role as a calling to advance and facilitate the worship of God through biblically centered giving, rather than a job.
The only way people are going to start giving at that level is if they have a transformed heart. It won’t come from better techniques—it will have to come from a change in the priorities of their life.
This process begins as we take the focus off effective fundraising techniques and place our highest priority onto promoting a biblical understanding of possessions.
What principles are central to your fundraising ministry?
Adapted from a presentation at a Christian Management Association conference by Wesley K. Willmer, Ph.D., then Vice-President, University Advancement, at Biola University. Today Dr. Willmer serves as the Senior Vice President of Advancement at Prison Fellowship Ministries.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s CLA Webcast on 9/26/13. Rick Dunham will lead us through a discussion on Giving Trends and Fall Campaigns. Be sure to register today!