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Fundraising. You either love it or you hate it. Either way, if you’re a missionary, you’re going to have be good at it. We recently wrote a blog about what you should do when fundraising, so we thought it would be helpful to share a few tips on what you shouldn’t do.
Many times people say things like, “God is going to provide everything you need!” While that statement is completely true, we believe that God wants to co-labor with us, even when it comes to fundraising. While it would be great if the money simply fell from the heavens, you shouldn’t find yourself idly waiting for the money to just appear.
Begin by asking God how he wants you to fundraise. Who should you contact? Should you get a second job? Do you have any gifts, talents, or abilities you could monetize? The point here is to not wait for the money to fall into your lap. Be faithful with what you have in your hands, and let God lead you from there.
What’s more important than good fundraising? Solid, personal relationships. Any good fundraiser knows that relationships are crucial to their success. People are smart, and they can tell when you’re only talking to them for the sake of asking for a donation.
The key here is to be personal. This means having someone over for dinner, scheduling a coffee date, planning a video call, or writing a letter. It’s inviting someone to come alongside you on your journey, not just asking for a check. Share your vision, dreams, and goals, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable when asking for their partnership. The more personal you are, the better the chances are that you’ll end up with a fully-committed supporter.
If you want to try the impersonal approach, give social media a try. Social media platforms are the least personal way you can fundraise. Sure, it might be the easiest way to communicate nowadays, but when it comes to garnering financial support, it’s the least effective.
Social media is a good place to share your story with a wide audience, but it won't always be enough to convince people to support you. Furthermore, friends and family members can feel hurt if you only contact them impersonally. To really succeed at fundraising, you’ll need to sacrifice some of your time, money, and comfort.
Facebook and other social media platforms might be helpful to determine who’s really interested in your mission, but don't leave it at that. Continue the relationship by reaching out directly and personally.
Give it everything you’ve got. Not everyone is going to become a donor, so don’t be discouraged when the answer is no. Keep pressing forward, always learning from each experience, bettering you for the next one. Surrender all your worries to God—he’s faithful to always show you what you need to do next. When God places a call on your life, don’t let anything stop you from pursuing it.
It’s inevitable that fear will try to get in the way—don’t let it win. The greatest transformation comes when you step into the uncomfortable with God, including some of those awkward fundraising moments.
Chances are you know someone who has had to fundraise before. It could be a mentor or a parent, or better yet, another missionary.
Reach out to them to ask for advice. Ask them what challenges they’ve gone through when it comes to fundraising, and how they overcame them. You could even invite them to be part of your support team as an advocate, advisor, or prayer partner. Or who knows?—maybe even a donor.
God’s word is truth, and his plans don't change just because your circumstances do. You might not see immediate success in your fundraising, but that doesn’t mean that he’s left you high and dry, he just has his own way of doing things.
Your job is to listen to God’s voice, obey him, and never give up. Stay true to his word for you, and be assured you’ll see his provision time and time again.