“When we come together in solidarity to tackle an issue, we strengthen our relationship with God and one another.”
I wonder what your own personal experience has been of fundraising. When you were asked to donate, how did it make you feel? Were you embarrassed? Annoyed? Thrilled? Often our own experiences affect our behaviour and our own willingness to ask for donations.
Fundraising can feel alien in a Christian environment. It feels a lot easier to ask people to pray for support rather than ask directly for money. Don’t get me wrong, prayer is vital and we need prayer support, but Jesus didn’t just pray, he acted, and he calls us to act too. So why is it so difficult to ask for money?
Let us look at the first question around how you feel when you are asked for a donation. We have all had those situations when a stranger approaches you in the street or shop with a collection bucket and you frantically search your pockets for some change. How have you felt? I would guess embarrassed or annoyed – I know I have. Why was this? Well, I was not prepared, I didn’t have time to consider who they were, why they wanted my money and what they were going to do with it. I didn’t know if I had given enough, or I may have wished I could have given more.
The whole experience can be, frankly, a disappointment.
Picture another situation: your close family friend has a disabled son. You have seen the sacrifices they have made and how they have had to adapt their lives to be able to care for him. He has always wanted to go to the beach but it is impossible for them as they can’t get his wheelchair on the sand. They hear of a special wheelchair that would enable them to go on the sand and enable him to experience the beach for the very first time, but they cannot afford it. They decide to launch a fundraiser and, as part of that, ask for your support. How do you feel? Embarrassed? Annoyed? Thrilled? My guess is that you would be delighted to help your friends and thrilled that you have the opportunity to make a difference.
Why is this? It’s simple: it’s because of your relationship with them and knowing that the money you give will make a difference.
God calls us into relationship: relationship with him and relationship with one another. When we come together in solidarity to tackle an issue, we strengthen our relationship with God and one another. We are saying, “You are not alone in this, I am here with you, we are in it together.” This is living out God’s love.
God calls us to act and sometimes we can’t physically fix the problem ourselves, but what we can do is help fund those who can, by sharing the gifts that God has blessed us with.
Fundraising is God’s love in action, strengthening our relationship with Him, with one another, and sharing His love through action.
As author Henri Nouwen says in A Spirituality of Fundraising, “Fundraising is a confident, joyful and hope-filled expression of ministry.”
If you would like help in developing a God-centred fundraising strategy or have any queries around fundraising, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Trew is a dynamic leader with strategic vision, who, in 20 years of working in the charity sector, has developed strategies and led in all areas of fundraising, as well as brand development, communications, marketing and external affairs. She has a demonstrated history of working at senior level in international, national and local charities and has set, managed and achieved multi-million-pound budgets developing sustainable income streams.