My last post about fundraising started an interesting conversation – especially from some who sent me direct e-mails rather than publicly post how they felt about the article. While I haven’t found anyone who disagrees with my points – some were upset that a truthful article like this would hurt all ministries. Much like the Swaggart and Bakker scandals years ago, many feel that when any perceived “negative” news happens about specific ministries, all suffer.
But if that’s the case with my fundraising comments, then it proves my thesis – that far too many people are ignorant of how fundraising works, and give on impulse, rather than an informed decision. As I said twice before, I’m not against fundraising at all – when it’s done with integrity. And the truth is, there’s manipulation in everything – even this blog. The way I design the page, write the articles, promote it when I speak, set up the page, and more are all to influence people to read it. Even the best sermons at church manipulate at some level – a good pastor is concerned about the sound quality, the layout of the sanctuary, the order of service, lighting, sermon structure, and much more.
So number one – get over the “manipulation” thing. My point is that we need to be informed. Remember when the Wizard of Oz was exposed? “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Today, too many ministries are keeping the public away by setting up a wall of secrecy. I’ve had clients over the years that had rules not to take any pictures of their private jet, or the funding would drop off. But the fact is, if the ministry leader could present a good case for having a jet, not only would the money not drop off, it would probably increase. The key is the ability to make a good case.
What do you think? Should we stop a conversation about ministry fundraising because we’re afraid it will hurt non-profits? My take is that if we tell the truth about any aspect of ministry – and it causes a ministry to get into trouble – then maybe the trouble is deserved. Maybe it’s a ministry that needs to take a hard look at it’s mission, it’s fundraising, and it’s purpose.
Am I being too critical here?