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Fundraising seminar [blog]

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Do It Well and Trust the Lord

Recently I participated in a fundraising seminar in Finland. The organizer was Sanansaattajat, TWR’s National Partner and the speaker was Ms. Redina Kolaneci, from the UK, who also spoke at the TWR’s PR Exchange meeting in Austria in 2010. For most of the participants in both events, this was a unique opportunity to learn something more about the art and craft of fundraising. Here are some of the highlights:

Fundraising is Biblical, joyful and it is connecting people – ones who like to fulfill their dream of connecting with ones who need. Role of fundraisers is to serve to donors and also the beneficiaries by giving to people opportunities to give for the Kingdom work.

If one might ask how we can see fundraising as Biblical, here are some statements that support that:

  • God is the provider and the source of everything including finances;
  • God provides partners – people who take interest in our ministry and who are willing to offer their support;
  • Through their giving donors mirror the generous heart of God and participate in His mission to the world;
  • God is using our fundraising efforts to connect His people to the ministries they care and love.

In order to do a decent fundraising we ought to be considering the following three steps:

  1. Evaluate your Ministry/Project
    1. What is your mission?
    2. Is your mission clearly defined?
    3. Who are your stakeholders?
    4. What do they expect from you and what do you expect from them?
    5. What is a unique feature of your mission/project?
    6. Is there funding available for your work?
    7. If so, do you know how to obtain it?
    8. Is there a team in place to fulfill your mission, to serve the beneficiaries, to raise funds for your work and do so ethically?
  2. Develop Your Case for Support
    1. Why do you exist? Is that stated in your mission, vision or ministry goal?
    2. What programs or services do you offer?
    3. Who provides those programs/services?
    4. Who are the beneficiaries of your programs?
    5. How are their lives being impacted by your work?
    6. Why are you the best positioned to help these beneficiaries?
    7. How will you be accountable to all stakeholders?
  3. Evaluate Strengths and Weaknesses of your Fundraising?
    1. What is your income by source (where does the money come from?)
    2. Do a file analysis: do a donor base analysis to gain insight on how donors give to your cause.
    3. What is the return of investment of your fundraising activities?
    4. What is the distribution of gifts in relation to donors every year?

Once the above is sorted and we have all the answers, we also should do a so-called fundraising fitness test: Consider why should I give to your ministry and tell me so in a compelling and appealing way.

Prepare the horse for battle, but the victory is of the Lord (Prov. 21:31), so we ought to do the above as a preparatory work along firm prayer support for our projects and mission.

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