As the president of a non-profit organization I get the privilege of raising money to support our ministry's exciting vision. I also get to connect with a ton of other non-profit leaders who have fundraising as part of their job descriptions.
In some of our off-line conversations, statements like, "I hate fundraising" spill out of their mouths in moments of raw honesty. When these leaders tell me this they are often surprised by my response. I tell them, "I actually enjoy fundraising."
"I don't hate fundraising" is not a mantra I try to tell myself. It is reality. I actually love raising money for Dare 2 Share, the great ministry God has blessed me to lead. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. Our mission is compelling.
When you lead a ministry which has a kingdom advancing mission you want to do what it takes to get that mission completed. Our mission at Dare 2 Share is "energizing a generation to evangelize their world." Whenever I say it I imagine the revival that could sweep this nation through a generation of praying and proclaiming teenagers on every one of the 67,342 high schools and middle schools in America. When I think about the possibility of this student-led spiritual movement I can't wait to ask others to break out their checkbooks and get behind this cause.
If you hate fundraising ask yourself these questions, "Is the mission of my organization compelling enough?" "If not, then how can I reshape the mission of our organization to make it compelling so that I enjoy raising money for it?" "If the mission can't be adjusted and I'm not excited enough to actually enjoy raising money to accomplish it, then should I find a different ministry with a more compelling mission to be a part of?"
2. It's a joy to get others to invest in the eternal.
Jesus said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroys and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6:19-20.
When you persuade someone to give out of the right motives to a heavenly cause they reap eternal rewards which can never break down, rust out or get stolen. You are helping them to build a stockpile of eternal riches which they can enjoy forever in heaven. And, contrary to the popular belief, we will not all just throw down our crowns at Jesus' feet and leave them there (that's a Christian myth made popular by a misinterpretation of Revelation 4:9-11.) No, these are treasures that will matter to us in ways we can't imagine now. The apostle Paul was so motivated by them he wrote, "No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" 1 Corinthians 9:27.
Getting someone to give out of the right motives to the right causes will bestow upon them countless blessings in the life to come. They will thank you later for giving them the opportunity for investing in the eternal now.
Ask yourself, "Do I really believe that the person I'm asking money from will be rewarded with unimaginable blessings in heaven as a result of their generosity?" "Am I willing to do what it takes to see them get blessed in the next life by challenging them to give in this life?"
3. When someone gives it changes their deepest priorities.
Jesus put it this way in Matthew 6:21, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." In other words, what you give toward is what determines and reveals your true priorities.
People often say that a person gives to what they are passionate about. But the opposite is even more true. People become passionate about what they give toward. Their hearts follow their treasure.
So, if you want to become passionate about reaching the lost with the gospel, give toward it. If you want to become passionate about social justice give toward it. Why? Because your heart follows your checkbook, debit card and wallet more than it follows your mouth! The great evangelist DL Moody said that he could tell more about a person's spiritual condition by their checkbook than their prayer journal.
Helping someone to give toward causes close to the heart of Christ actually makes their hearts more like Christ's! In this way generosity is an almost unparalleled discipleship tool that accelerates the spiritual growth of the giver.
Ask yourself, "Do I view generosity as a tool for discipleship or do I feel like a tool when I ask someone for money?"
With this in mind I would not be representing this blogpost well if I didn't ask you to consider a year-end gift to the ministry of Dare 2 Share. If you want to an exciting mission that reaches teens for Christ in this life, transforms your personal priorities and builds your stockpile of riches in heaven then click here to donate.
If you aren't willing to ask the same for your ministry then you may need to rethink your role there.