Show Me The Money!

How to Take the Fear out of Fundraising

By Anna Burke

[4 minute read]


You may remember the iconic 90’s movie ‘Jerry McGuire’ featuring Tom Cruise and his famous scene on the phone where he’s at the mercy of the character played by Cuba Gooding Junior who demands that he “show’s him the money!” Unfortunately, many people view fundraising this way - a stressful situation that should be avoided at all costs or added to that list of things people hate most in life: death, taxes and speaking in public.

Fundraising is often the most dreaded task on a leader’s schedule. It doesn’t have to be this way. Fundraising is a vital discipline for organisational leaders to master. And, if done consistently and done well it will provide resources that enable your Kingdom ministry to expand and grow, impacting more people for Christ.

So how can you overcome your fear and make fundraising your friend, not foe? These pointers are by no means a definitive list, but my hope is that they will adjust your perspective, remove barriers and propel you into action. For your sake and for the sake of those your organisation serves.

Adjust Your Mindset

Asking for money is biblical. We’ve all heard the stories of missionaries who never asked anyone for financial assistance, but rather just prayed and God provided. It’s true, God provides miraculously, and often. He doesn’t need us to ask people to give. He can move their hearts and make it happen without our intervention.

However… this is not the only way, or the most common. Usually God releases you and I to play an active part! Think about it…God doesn’t need us to tell people the Gospel. He can send his Spirit into people’s hearts and change them without a word from you or me. But He chooses to use us. In the process our faith is strengthened, relationships are built, and we are blessed to be part of God’s rescue mission here on earth.

God wants us to encourage each other to be generous. In 2 Cor 8:7-11 Paul exhorts the Corinthians to give. “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.”  

Instead of focussing on what you want from your donors, flip the script and think more of what you want for them. You are offering donors the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves and to make an eternal impact. 

Always remember - you are not asking for yourself, you’re asking for the Lord’s work! There is no nobler cause. Nothing more needed by our broken world. Be strong and courageous. Take a deep breath and take action.

It’s All About Relationships

 The key to effective fundraising is building strong relationships with an aligned purpose. As you know, relationships take time and effort. Schedule blocks of time each week to call your key supporters or people you’d like to engage as donors. Do life together. Invite them to lunch, get to know their families, ask about their business and recognise special events in their lives. Most importantly, ask them what they need prayer for and pray with them and for them.

Round Peg, Square Hole

Fundraising works when a donor’s priorities overlap with your mission’s needs. Find out what your supporters care about and ask them to help with that! Ask your donors ‘what are you passionate about?’ Donors want to invest in an opportunity that can help them fulfil God’s purpose for their lives. Your job is to show them how.

Be Transparent

Always report back to donors with clear examples of how their generosity has positively impacted the intended beneficiaries. If things didn’t go according to plan, be upfront and explain the reasons. Don’t leave the donor guessing.

Put Skin In The Game

Don’t ask a supporter to give to a project that you haven’t invested in yourself. The magnitude does not need to be great, but leaders must have integrity and lead by example.

Just Do It

The biggest barrier to effective fundraising is getting out of the starting blocks. Stop procrastinating and take action. Start small and book in a lunch with a supporter, with the objective of finding out what they are passionate about. Pray before you go, committing your time to the Lord and asking Him to direct the conversation.

Learn From Others

Start giving to organisations you care about and pay attention to how they interact with you. Replicate the good and learn from the bad. You might like to start by investing in Arrow!