If you are a Christian fundraiser or leader of a Christian charity it’s likely that just a few weeks ago you spent hours creating your charity’s latest appeal.
The fundraising proposition is robust. The story is compelling. The ask is clear. The design is good.
You sent it out. And, now you are evaluating the responses as they come in.
28% of your email list opened the email and another 8% clicked on the giving link.
127 cheques have come so far and another 50 donors have used the giving box on the website... So far so good...
Then, you take a closer look at some of the responses. Here is what you might see:
A note with a cheque from a supporter saying: "Thank you so much for the work you are doing. I enclose a cheque for £250 with this letter."
An email arrives in your inbox from Supporter Care asking you to respond to someone who has written: “Why do you keep sending these begging letters to me? I have received three letters asking for money in the last six months."
While you ponder your response to the angry donor you get a phone call that brightens your day. A softly spoken supporter asks you: "Can you send me more information about the project in your latest letter? I want to make a large gift but would like to know more..."
Then, two more notes make it to your desk. One from a supporter saying: "I am unable to give right now but I am happy to pray." And, another supporter requests: "Please remove me from your mailing list.”
You might ask yourself: Was I right to ask people for the money? Am I doing this the right way? God’s way?
One of the best descriptions of different types of givers I have ever come across can be found in Giving and Getting in the Kingdom: A Field Guide by R. Mark Dillon, Ph.D.
In his book Mark talks about four types of givers and I believe his insights can help you understand some of the spiritual reasons why supporters respond the way they do to your fundraising appeals.
The Reluctant Giver (50% of the population, including many practicing Christians too)
Talking about giving is annoying to this group. Their mantra is ‘my money is my business.’ They see invitations to give as begging and inappropriate.
The Casual Giver (25% of the population)
Gives out of obligation. They ask, “How much of my money should I give?” Our databases are full of this kind of giver. They send gifts of £20, £50, or even £250 but in reality, if they saw themselves as stewards of God's resources rather than owners they could give so much more.
The Thoughtful Giver (20% of the Christian community/population)
Is aware of God’s call on their life and possessions. These people receive pleasure and joy from giving back to God. They ask, "How much of God's money should I give back to him?" The thoughtful giver is the supporter who calls and seeks to give more. They want to be good stewards of their resources and actively seek ways to practice generosity.
The Gifted Giver (5% of the Christian community/ population)
Takes great joy in giving. Their question is not, if they should give, or how much they should give, but “How much of God’s money should I keep?”
This is a very different perspective and the ultimate way of fulfilling the stewardship mandate.
Let me encourage you today to take a few minutes and reflect on these definitions. Then ask yourself: What type of giver am I? And how can I move forward in my personal stewardship journey?
Here are two more questions you can discuss with your Christian charity’s leadership team:
- What can you and your team do to encourage your charity's supporters to fully understand the stewardship dimension of being a follower of Christ?
- How can we encourage supporters to move forward from being reluctant and casual givers to thoughtful and gifted ones?
If you want to learn new ways of inspiring and encouraging Christian givers to engage with your charity’s mission come along to our upcoming workshop on the 24th August.
During three interactive sessions I will be sharing biblical and practical insights that can help you and others in your team to do fundraising God’s way.
Together we will explore what it means to embrace a biblical paradigm for fundraising and how to create and implement a robust fundraising plan that engages both the hearts and the faith of Christian donors.
I will share examples from Christian charities I have worked with during the last 17 years and show you how to apply timeless principles of fundraising to challenging situations you are facing right now.
You can even send your questions in advance when you book your place and I will make sure I address them during the workshop sessions.
Looking forward to meeting you virtually on the 24th August.
Click here to book your ticket for 'Is fundraising part of God's plan for my ministry?'
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