If you feel that God has given you a mission, it's likely that you'll find yourself fundraising. This is not an accident or annoying hurdle that you have to jump. Like the rocket fuel that launches a shuttle into space, fundraising helps to power your mission and makes good things happen.
Over the past couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to get to know a group of missionaries from Family Missions Company in Louisiana. They send missionaries to all parts of the world, including Haiti, Taiwan, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Peru. They focus their efforts on serving the poor and preaching the Gospel.
As missionaries, they have to fundraise. They depend entirely on people who believe in their mission. They use a variation of personal ministry fundraising that focuses on building close personal relationships with monthly donors.
Let the Gospel fuel your mission.
One of the biggest challenges that the missionaries face when fundraising is fear of rejection. It's scary to call people and ask them to meet to talk about financially supporting a ministry. It's especially difficult if you don't have plan.
Several of my new friends said that a big turning point in their fundraising was reading The God Ask by Steve Shadrach. Steve runs a company called SRS (Support Raising Solutions) that has trained thousands of missionaries to raise the money they need to hit the mission field.
One of the key themes of The God Ask is that we shouldn't be ashamed to raise money to support God's mission. When Jesus sent out His disciples, He commanded them to fundraise. He told them not to bring money, food, or clothing with them on their missionary journeys. The disciples had no choice but to depend on the generosity of people that they asked for support.
Having this perspective, coupled with a concrete plan of how to go out and set up meetings, was a real game changer. One of the missionaries told me that she had gone from $500 a month in support to close to $2,500. This is obviously a game changer. She now has the ability to serve at a totally different level.
Build on a strong foundation.
Having the right foundation in Scripture gives you the confidence to move forward with your fundraising. But that doesn't absolve you of the responsibility to have a strong plan and follow it. Family Missions Company also works hard to support their missionaries' fundraising efforts.
Each missionary family has their own fundraising page that they can email to supporters after talking to them. The page features a testimony of their call to the missions and also links to blog posts written by the missionaries. The missionaries are also encouraged to write a quarterly newsletter that is sent to each of their supporters. This contact point helps to build the relationship with their donors, who appreciate hearing their stories from the field.
In the coming weeks, I'm going to focus more on both the scriptural foundations for fundraising and the processes that turn your efforts into money.
Do good, better.
There's no conflict between fundraising for good and fundraising well. If you feel that God has called you to do something important, you can trust that He will give you the resources that you'll need to make it happen. If it's God's will, it's God's bill. But you'll probably have to ask before you receive.
Looking for more articles on personal ministry fundraising? Try this one:
Check out The Fundraiser's Playbook for a full list of fundraising articles.
Would you like to learn more about raising money for Church and Ministry? Check out Letters From The Almoner, now available on Amazon.com.
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