I’ve worked as a fundraiser for more than 12 years. In that time, I’ve witnessed many different attitudes to giving and heard every excuse in existence for not giving!
I’ve studied fundraising; attended training courses; worked with amazing advertising agencies; tested lots of different fundraising appeals; raised lots of money for important causes and… the most important lesson I’ve learnt is my attitude makes the difference. Let me explain…
Over the years, I’ve come to recognise the importance of involving God in every fundraising encounter. If I approach my work as a Fundraiser who happens to be a Christian, I will be focused on raising money first and foremost. The time will come when I will inevitably face the temptation to use a range of manipulative and guilt-inducing fundraising techniques (that are well-known by fundraisers) to persuade people to give. Then it’s likely I will become increasingly desperate when donors don’t respond.
But if I approach my work as a Christian who happens to be a fundraiser, the whole situation is transformed. The pressure to achieve financial targets is removed when I focus on sharing the vision instead. My responsibility is to extend an invitation to participate in creating God’s Kingdom on earth. Then it’s up to the individual to decide whether to respond. The invitation to participate ultimately comes from our Lord, not me.
I believe God plants in each one of us a passion to meet a particular need in the world. (You might recognise this as a burden you feel called to pray for regularly.) You’ll know when the time is right to give generously because you’ll find your heart stirred by the possibility of making the world a better place. Stay alert – because you don’t want to miss that opportunity!