Creative LeadershipStrategy & Marketing

Fundraising Success

When it comes to your ministry or non-profit organization, like it or not, an important aspect of successful fundraising is that it needs an enemy:  Sometimes that enemy is hunger…  Sometimes another need such as drugs, alcoholism, child abuse…  Even spiritual darkness..  It shouldn’t be individuals, but it can be a group such as drug dealers, human traffickers, child predators,  etc….  The question you need to think about is:

What are you fighting?
What are the people you’re talking to passionate about?

When you can figure that out, you have the potential key to getting your audience to pick up the phone and help you make a difference.

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  1. Phil, you raise a good point about modern fundraising – an enemy vis-a-vis the call to donate.  The large question is whether a ministry may exploit this "enemy" in order to raise funds.  For instance, may a ministry use child hunger as a tool for fundraising when most of the funds are going to be used for other purposes?

  2. Good question, but that's another matter altogether.  That's not a question of "fundraising" – that's a question of "integrity."  Actually, by law you're supposed to use gifts given specifically for those specific projects.  

  3. Phil, those are two great questions everyone needs to consider – not just for organizational fundraising, but even for our individual lives. I just read several articles from the September ’08 issue of Harvard Business Review that speak to having a focus and a passion.

    Focusing on your passion will lead to a purpose worth putting your money behind. And this gives meaning to our lives – providing each us with a strong sense of who we are, while opening us up to the reality that we are part of a larger purpose.

    Focus and passion are key.

    Allen Paul Weaver III
    author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers

  4. Excellent response. What are we doing FOR GOD and what are we doing FOR OTHERS? Ministry isn't a free-ride. (maybe your thinking, "I'll be blessed if I'm associated with ministry.") Sometimes those doing a TON for God will be the lowliest, by the world's standards. If we worry about the budget this month or the vacation we need to pay for, are we really doing this for a Godly purpose? I believe it comes down to what your MOTIVATION is. Search your heart.  Is it for God, or is it for you and your reputation.


    Sort of. But, be sure your "cause" is scriptural, and CLEARLY a need. In my opinion, yer in an uphill battle if you are trying to introduce a NEW enemy. Deal with what's there.

    Showing that others just can't survive without our help, I believe, is showing the enemy, without giving credit to "the enemy."

    When you speak of spiritual warfare, be sure you are talking to Christians. If you are evangelizing, Major on the majors…

    We need to bring others to Christ, not get our personal point across. MY enemy may be different than YOUR enemy, based on our circumstances. 

  6. If a ministry actively searches for an enemy for the purpose of raising funds, how is that another matter altogether?

    True, by law a ministry is supposed to use specific gifts for specific project on those projects.  Many ministries skirt this rule, however, by stating that any gifts given to the ministry may be used for general ministry purposes.

  7. I think you guys missed the point of what Phil was saying.  It's not about using an enemy under false pretenses in order to raise funds.  That is totally reprehensible and irresponsible for a ministry.  Nor is Phil suggesting that you come up with a "new" enemy.  It's about clarifying your purpose in both a postive and negative way.   There are times when people don't always associate the cause you are "for" with a cause that it is "against".

     For instance – efforts to help the horrendous poverty conditions in places like Thailand are probably one of the most effective ways to counter-attack the sex-trafficking industry since one of the major reasons young girls and boys are sold is because their parents are destitute.  But, it is not the solution that most people think of.  While helping the poor may resonate – fighting sex-trafficking may resonate even more.

    The only danger I see with this tactic is that it seems to me that the church seems to be identified much more with what is against than what it is for in recent days.  I think this is changing.  I hope it is.


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