Finding Financial Resources for Ministry in today’s Competitive Charity Sector
When it comes to finding financial resources for ministry in churches today, most of us do not do fundraising well. It is usually limited to teaching or preaching on tithing, or inviting the ushers to come forward to receive the offering. This is one of those things that they don’t teach you in Bible College or Seminary.
What really is capital fundraising?
One reason for this is that there seems to be a misunderstanding about what fundraising is, and another is that we don’t know how to actually do fundraising. In my experience in church life for over 50 years, I have found a real hesitancy to talk about money, and a stronger reticence to ask for money. Is this perhaps because we look on this issue as a spiritual one, and instead of asking people, perhaps we should just ask God to prompt people to give?
The importance of casting a vision
Let me suggest a couple of ideas for you to ponder. First, since the Bible does in fact talk about money as much as any other subject, perhaps it should be preached or taught about as much as other biblical topics in the church year. Second, raising financial resources, or ‘fundraising’ for short, is not just asking for money, it is vision-casting more than anything. This requires a time of preparing the donor to respond to what God is prompting them to give. Lots of biblical passages lend themselves to a series of messages about the vision God has for the church, and how He expects us to support His vision financially. Third, don’t wait until you are in a panic situation. This leads to what I call ‘needs based’ fundraising rather than ‘vision based’ fundraising. In other words, you only ask for finances when it seems like you will end the year in the red, and perhaps have to cut back staff or ministry opportunities. Then, when the need is met the giving dries up as well.
…..What is it like at your church? Leave a comment below….
Guest post by David Belsey, ThM, DMin, Faith Based Fundraising Associates
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