HIGHER THINKING BLOG
It’s Not Begging! By Bruce Dingman
It’s not begging. It’s time to change your perspective.
For many, even pastors or presidents of Christian organizations, doing “the ask” is really tough if they think of it as begging. But that’s not the way God would have us view it. Even if one is shy, changing one’s perspective on the subject can make a big difference.
Scripture says we are “to be ever ready to tell of The Hope that is within us” and then trust the Holy Spirit to lead the person to a saving relationship through Jesus Christ. Likewise, so we are to approach asking people to give. It’s our job to tell of the financial need, the opportunity to give to the Lord’s work, and then leave it up to the Holy Spirit if they are to give. We should not, we have no right, to take ownership of getting them to give. Don’t go there. That’s His job.
The “theology of stewardship”, a phrase you’ve perhaps not heard before, boils down to He owns the cattle on a 1,000 hills. It’s all His. So, don’t get uptight about if your fundraising results are not as fruitful as you’d like. But you do have the responsibility to do three things: be diligent, be smart, and be reciprocal.
Be Diligent…you need to work at this with enthusiasm and lots of effort. Don’t procrastinate. And don’t blame God if the results don’t happen when you haven’t done your part.
Be Smart…people want to give to a person they believe is effective or to a project. Let them know your needs. Maybe they don’t need to know the total support you need but newsletters that say something like “we’re praying for the Lord to raise up the equivalent of another 18 supporters at $50/month so we can be at 100% of our needed support level” or needs like “if the Lord provides $2,500 our family can go to the Christian Associates CONECT next August in Germany, the annual staff conference for spiritual growth, fellowship and relaxation…or “we’re needing $2,400 for this year’s tuition for our children at the Madrid Christian Academy.” And tell them stories of the results of your work. They want to hear how the Lord is using you in the lives to draw individuals to Him.
Be “reciprocal”…ask them what can you pray for them. Not only is it right that you care about your supporters personally, but it also helps build a bond with them.
Personal comment: It’s been my pleasure to be on the Christian Associates board for almost twenty years. Whether I’ve had to chance to know you personally, or not, I care. If anyone wants some thoughts about how to be more effective in your own fundraising, don’t hesitate to contact me personally. As a part of my professional work I’ve been involved in understanding fundraising in many different ways and venues. I’d be glad to share my insights with you.
Bruce Dingman, who lives in California, is a professional executive recruiter and does 90% of his search assignments for Christian organizations. He’s been to 50 countries, speaks three languages and serve on the boards of three international missions organizations. Bruce can be reached at Bruce@dingman.com.
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