In the non-profit world, many people struggle with how to secure resources, namely raise money, to support their cause. Despite a ministry’s worthiness, many struggle or never reach their full stride due to inability to secure volunteer time or funding. Why does raising money seem so daunting? Although God is the ultimate resource provider, why do some non-profit leaders receive an outpouring of funds while others not? Although most situations cannot be attributable to only one reason, I would propose a significant contributor is the lack of a leader’s clear, compelling, and well-communicated vision for the ministry. I believe people are inherently generous and predisposed to give of their time and resources, if the right opportunity is presented the right way at the right time. When done right, I expect people to respond with joyful hearts and generous giving.
One of the key responsibilities of the leader is to ensure the ministry or non-profit has a powerful vision, strategy, and plan that can be effectively communicated to potential donors. From a Biblical perspective, Christians are called by God to steward their resources and use them to invest in Kingdom opportunities. Therefore, a responsible donor would logically expect to understand the vision, the strategy/execution plan, and how the ministry will be held accountable. If a leader cannot article the vision and supporting details, a donor is likely to assume the resources will not be well stewarded.
When I interviewed for a full-time fundraising position at MedSend, the CEO enlightened me that those who have significant wealth feel an overwhelming burden of responsibility to give back and are actively looking for causes where their donations can make a big impact. They want to make a significant contribution to the world and want to invest their money in a vision that is greater than paying someone’s bills. Think about it. What criteria do you use for giving? Aside from tithing, people give to people not organizations, specifically to people who have visions.
If you are fundraising for a cause for which you are passionate, take the time to paint a clear and engaging picture of your vision, so you can help your donors understand how their efforts will release joy and power. Make it big! Stretch your dreaming! If you can create a vision that you could accomplish on your own, it is likely not from God. God does not dream that small.