This article was originally published for Support Raising Solutions by Steve D.
Raising personal support is its own brand of crazy, but raising your salary plus organizational funds is madness multiplied! If you are tasked with raising operational or special project funds in addition to your own salary, or you lead leaders who do, perhaps you have felt overwhelmed by this doubly daunting task. So how can you best help those fundraising leaders in your organization who are pulling double duty?
First, encourage leaders that organizational support raising doesn’t detract from their personal support raising but instead often enhances it. It’s natural to think that approaching the same partners who make up one’s monthly support team would potentially diminish their giving to you personally. After all, there’s only so much money to go around, right? Yet in fact, the opposite is actually true. I’ve found that inviting your personal monthly donors to invest in your organization’s overall mission actually serves to deepen their commitment to you and your ministry. I have never had a personal supporter stop or decrease their support for my family as a result of supporting an organizational special project. In fact, more often than not, they have actually increased their giving towards my personal support. Many years ago, I learned a truth that has stuck with me through the years:
“Involvement breeds commitment.”
By involving your supporters in your organization’s mission and its strategic projects more broadly, you are helping them become more committed both to you and the mission. It’s a win-win!
Secondly, remind your leaders that organizational support raising, though in some ways similar to personal support raising, really requires a different approach. With organizational support raising, you’re not looking for the standard $100 per month donor. Instead, you’re likely asking God for partners who can be significantly involved in key projects, perhaps on the order of tens of thousands of dollars or more. Even so, encourage your leaders not to be timid about approaching their “regular” donors. In most cases, people prefer not to support an individual worker beyond a certain threshold, typically $500 to $1000 per month at most. However, the same donor might readily write a check for $50,000 or more to underwrite a project they’re passionate about. Don’t make assumptions about people and their ability to give. Instead, develop compelling proposals to fund needed initiatives and ask prayerfully and boldly.
Finally, as your leaders pursue organizational fundraising, be careful not to make any commitments to potential donors that would require you to deviate from your mission simply to receive funding. Sometimes by craving a particular gift or in an effort to recruit a certain donor, it can be tempting to allow a donor or foundation to attach too many “strings” to their giving. It’s incumbent on you not to allow the “tail to wag the dog” and by doing so to sacrifice the mission God has called you to. In contrast, when you have deep relational equity with donors, they often are willing to give without requiring long project write-ups or other hoops to jump through. I once had a personal donor who gave a large organizational gift. As we were discussing the logistics of which account it should go toward, he replied, “I trust you. Put it wherever you need it most.”
With the right perspective and approach, God may use your double duty fundraising efforts to both fully fund your ministry budgets and to deepen your personal partners’ commitment to you and your mission.
This article is submitted by Jessica Wood of Support Raising Solutions. Support Raising Solutions is a Missio Nexus member. Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.