Asking for money can be weird, uncomfortable, and just plain hard. Despite those emotions, there is no reason that fundraising for your ministry should keep you from the mission field. Why? Let me tell you a key to fundraising: it isn’t about asking people for money; instead, it’s about giving others an opportunity to invest in Kingdom work.
1- Change Your Mind
Your mindset going into fundraising is the linchpin of how successful your fundraising process will be, and which potential challenges will likely trip you up throughout this process.
About 90% of missionaries will admit, “I feel uncomfortable asking people for money.” So, take a look at another missionary’s views on fundraising. Philippians 4:10-20 is a passage any missionary should read.
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Re-read verse 17. What is NOT Paul’s focus? The gift. What IS his focus? He says it is the fruit that increases to the Philippians credit. Have you ever considered what the fruit is and what he means by it increasing to their credit?
It’s time you changed your mind from asking someone to give you money to inviting them to partner with you in sharing the gospel.
2- Offer An Unforgettable Opportunity
Paul focuses on the blessings the Philippians will receive from their shared labor with him in the gospel. The blessing is those who come to Christ as they labor together, and as a result, his ministry partners will receive eternal rewards. Not only will these believers receive credit in the form of crowns to throw at the feet of Jesus; they will also see their new brothers and sisters, most of whom they have never met, in heaven one day!
Also take a look at Matthew 6:20, which says, “Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven,” when you invite people to partner with you, it gives them an opportunity to do just that - ministry partnership. Perhaps you should be thinking, “It would be pretty selfish of me not to give people an opportunity to lay up treasures in heaven.” And have you ever considered the thought, “Why wouldn’t I want to give everyone I know the opportunity to do that?!” That’s what fundraising for missions is all about. Offering an opportunity they can’t receive anywhere else.
The concepts in these verses could revolutionize the way you approach fundraising. Allow the truths you’ve read here to transform your mindset. Focus on the benefits that will be received by your funding partnerships, rather than what you may be asking from them. Don’t allow yourself to be immobilized by fear.
Step out in faith, trusting God that He will lead you to those people who want to make eternal investments with the resources He has entrusted to them. Invite them to join you in what God is doing as you ask them to fund you.
Being a fundraising coach is exciting because I am able to meet with and help God’s ambassadors get to the field. Coaching also gives me the privilege of contributing to the Great Commission. When I’m not coaching or blogging, I’m surfing the web for new recipes to try on my family in Birmingham, AL. They are my guinea pigs!