If you are afraid of inviting someone into a life of greater generosity, you are in the wrong vocation. I’m not sure why but we feel as though asking people to give is like asking people to jump off a bridge…a really tall bridge. You, “making the ask”, is you inviting your friends and potential ministry partners into a life of greater generosity and spiritual growth.
This is how Saddleback Church talks and views fundraising and I think it’s safe to say that it’s work out pretty well for them. When we raise funds, we partner with God in raising the level of faith in those we lead and serve. Fundraising is a service to embrace not a disservice to resist. Tweet this! Henri Nouwen once said: “Fundraising is always a call to conversion.” In my years of fundraising I can’t think of a better statement on the subject. It is a call to conversion for the fundraiser and the fund-giver. I cannot think of any other times of greater personal growth then in my seasons of fundraising. There is a something very unique about this.
4 quick tips on raising funds:
- Underpromise and Overdeliver.
If you are asking, make sure you are delivering. Tom Ahern put this in such a hilarious yet spot on way: “If you call yourself Save the Whales, every once in awhile you have to save a whale.” Fruit and Funds go hand in hand.
- Under ask and Over thank.
I like to keep a 7-1 rule of thumb in this area. 7 thank you’s or conversations to 1 ask. This feeds into the next point. As Ken Burnett put it, “There are two ‘i’s’ in Fundraising – they should stand for inspiration and innovation, not imitation and irritation.”
- Create Partners not Projects.
The worst feeling in the world is the feeling of being used. Building a genuine friendship with your key ministry Partners is of the utmost importance. As Maya Angelou famously said: “People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.” It is our job as fundraisers to make our Partners feel like Partners. They should feel appreciated, informed and needed.
- Make an Invitation not just an Ask.
If you are feeling as though you are burdening people, you need to reframe your thinking. Take a step back and remember this quote from Anne Frank: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” Friends, we’re not selling burlap underwear, we’re inviting friends to partner with us and God to see the kingdom of God come to earth as it is in heaven. What an invitation!
If I can help any further, don’t hesitate to make an “ask” 🙂