This post was written by Crystal Mazzuca, a member of the INCM Blog team.
In 2005 I was visiting every church, home, and business that I’d ever had any connection with in order to ask them to support my family in our dream of serving as full-time missionaries in Swaziland, Africa.
In case you didn’t know, it takes a lot of financial support to go into full-time missions work.
While fundraising for our ministries may not feel equal to a family seeking monthly support for missions, the heart is the same. We are inviting people on an amazing journey of faith where we believe God wants to use their generosity to grow His Kingdom.
But also…fundraising can be incredibly daunting!
Here are a few do’s and don’ts that will hopefully take away some of those intimidating feelings as well as some basic ideas that will put the “fun” into fundraising.
Do’s And Don’ts of Fundraising
DON’T simply ask people to pray
Yes, prayer is important for your ministry. Prayer is actually more important than the funds that you need. However, if you give people the choice between giving to your ministry or praying for your ministry, which are they more likely to choose?
DO invite people to give
When you are fundraising, keep your goal in mind. If you are wanting funds, that is what you need to ask for. Of course, you always want people to pray. So invite them to give AND pray, not give OR pray.
DON’T answer for anyone
Too often in fundraising, we make the decision for people before we even ask them. What’s their track record on giving? What’s their financial situation? What is the chance they will say “yes”? This causes us to answer “no” for people before they’ve even heard the question.
DO allow room for God to move
2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” God is working in hearts to give and be generous. When we are inviting people to give, we are opening the door for God to move in their lives and obey the ways He’s already moving. So we need to avoid saying “no” for people and allow room for God to work in and through them.
DON’T be general in your ask
Would your entire budget benefit from a big fundraising push? Yes!
Is that the best way to get the funds that you need? No!
People typically tithe knowing that those funds are going to the general church budget. If you want funds outside of that, you can’t be general in your ask.
DO fundraise for something specific
When you are asking people to give, they are more likely to give to something specific. Are you looking for funds for scholarships? Do you need some new equipment? Is there a project or event you are working on? Whatever it is, a special and distinct goal for the funds is much more appealing than a broad ask to give.
Now that we’ve talked about the do’s and the don’ts, let’s talk about 3 ways to simplify your fundraising experience.
1. Create a Plan
After you’ve come up with your specific fundraising ask and money goal, decide how you are going to raise funds.
Are you going to do a big church drive where week after week you are asking for donations up front? What about a jog-a-thon where families raise donations for laps walked, jogged, or biked? Could you do some kind of bake or handmade craft sale? Or maybe you offer youth to do work at homes and businesses for donations?
Whatever you do, make it clear and have a timeline of when you will be done.
2. Create a Team
Fundraising is never a one-person effort! Invite people to join you as you lead this endeavor. Ask for their creativity, organization, and special event skills.
Enlist the help of people who fundraise for their schools or businesses. Invite the people who will benefit from the funds to be a part of the raising.
3. Create a Celebration
Once your fundraising is complete, have some way to celebrate with the church. Thank them for all that they’ve done and share with them what God will do with the money.
A few months later, give them an update. The more they see how their money has been invested, the more likely they will give again in the future.
Whatever you are raising funds for, don’t think of it as just asking people for money. You are inviting them to be a part of big things that God is doing and giving them the opportunity to bless others.
Keep a godly perspective when it comes to your ask and watch the amazing things He does!
Crystal has always loved working with kids. After earning her Masters in Christian Education Administration, Crystal was hired as the full-time Director of Kids’ Ministry at her church. She’s thankful to have found a family of like-minded brothers and sisters who share a common passion for Kingdom growth through discipleship.