What is the difference between these two? Well, let me ask you this…would you run a half marathon every month? How about flinging yourself off a bridge tied to a piece of elastic on a monthly basis? Or perhaps shaving off your hair is more your style, assuming it’ll grow back quickly enough for the next shave in four weeks’ time?
Doing these sorts of extreme activities is a once in a lifetime kind of thing. Or for the more daring among us, once a year. We’re not going to put the time, effort and humiliation into doing them every month.
This is fundraising, passing the metaphorical hat around: it’s asking people for a one-off in response to something you have done – like the Three Peaks Challenge or running a marathon.
These remarkable efforts all have their place. A whole community of fundraisers have done significant good through all the diverse and imaginative ways to raise funds.
Fundraising is important but it is not Support Raising.
So what exactly is the difference?
In a nutshell, support raising is sustained, relational and fundamentally all about partnership. It is about finance, but it also goes so much deeper than that. Rather than a one-off transaction, it’s an ongoing partnership to sustainably build the kingdom together, where one goes and one supports.
In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul explains how the Corinthians ‘urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people’. Partnership.
Paul also writes in his letter to the Philippians an expression of heartfelt thanks:
‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 1:3-6
‘Partnership in the gospel’ goes right to the heart of support raising. The relationship between the receiver – the person that goes – and the giver – the person that sends – is fundamental to the way in which God resources his work. The partnership of givers and receivers enriches both.
Of course, God’s economy is never just transactional. It involves the heart as well as the wallet. And while money can represent one form of support there are so many other ways that you can offer support to someone. Prayer and encouragement, for example, are essential.
If you want to understand more deeply about partnership and support-raising then you can book onto our Support Raising Training. Even if you’ve already started your support-raising journey, you will find encouragement, understanding and wisdom from others to strengthen you and your ministry.
That’s got to be less daunting than a bungee jump.