Fundraising is like gardening.
My grandfather was a tireless farmer. My mother was a determined gardener.
One day I’d like to work the soil, even if it is a few small plants.
1. Fundraising Takes Work
What I learned as I watched my family toiling away in the hot sun is that gardening is hard work. If I want my plants to bear a bountiful harvest, I am going to have to put in the work.
I am going to have to give those plants my time. I’m also going to have to give them my energy, my attention, my thoughts, my consistent (though not constant) supervision, and this is going to continue for months at a time.
The same is true in your fundraising. Your contacts are just like those seeds planted in the ground. If they are well tended, they have the potential to bear good fruit. But, if neglected, they don’t produce much of a harvest - if anything at all.
This is not a suggestion that you go and line your contacts up in the yard, unleashing the fury of your garden hose on them, but you do need to tend that relationship. Be consistent, be thoughtful, be prayerful, be thankful with those on your financial partnership team.
2. Funding Partnerships Take Time
When you plant the seeds of partnership, you must be willing to cultivate that connection. Give the time and energy required to produce a fully engaged funding partnership. Develop the relationship in a way that you understand the person who is giving to you. Understand what types of updates they enjoy, how often they like to hear from you, and whether you should email them or personally call them.
What if you don’t know those specifics about any of your funding relationships? Begin asking them. The next time you make contact with a financial partner of your ministry, ask them their preferences. You might be surprised at the clear answers you receive.
What if your schedule doesn’t allow you the time to develop great funding partnerships? Fundraising takes time, and it takes a personal commitment to make the time to get it done.
Think of it in only a few simple steps:
Be true to your word, follow-up when you say you will.
Be consistent and regular in your communication.
Be available to answer any further questions.
If you will be intentional to care for your contacts well, you will be on your way to enjoying the fruits of your labor - a beautiful and God honoring missions partnership, which allows a beautiful and God glorifying harvest of partners to help on the mission field.
Lydia Gard, Fundraising Coach
As an experienced fundraising coach, I’m blessed to encourage and equip others to answer the call God has placed on their lives. When I’m not coaching or blogging, I’m spending time with my active family and enjoying our friends in northern Indiana.