One of the greatest struggles of fundraising can be loneliness. You may feel on your own because no one else in your life is preparing to leave the country. You may feel like people don’t “get it.” Before I left the country, I used to get heartbroken thinking about all the weddings I would miss and other significant events in my family’s lives I couldn’t personally attend.
You were not meant to be alone on this often-daunting road of fundraising. The loneliness of your fundraising journey is real, but it’s not required.
Let me honest, I’ve been there, and I did not enjoy it. I also don’t enjoy it when someone I’m coaching feels the same way. That’s why I’d like to give you some tips.
The top 3 tips to fundraise without loneliness:
1 Have a prayer group
People can partner with you in more ways than one. Find prayer warriors, former missionaries, people you trust, and tell them you desire to be surrounded by others. Send out a calendar where people can sign up to pray, call to check in, or send an encouraging text. Be intentional in making your own needs known!
2 Involve others
So maybe you can’t have your crew accompany you on an appointment with a potential partner, or have them stand on stage with you at church. But what kinds of things can they be involved in? So many things!
Addressing and stuffing letters
Helping you find contact info
Helping design/implement your social media strategy
Remember, ministry partnership is about so much more than raising funds. If you involve people early, their connection to the impact and the ministry will grow. More on connecting your financial partners directly to the ministry impact.
3 Consult your teammates
There is (most likely) a team on the ground in your country of service that’s awaiting your arrival. Who better to connect with than people who have been through the grind of mailing, calling, calling, calling, texting, meeting, and following up? As you develop your team of financial partners, there’s another team that is strategically implementing the vision God has given you. Connecting with those you will be serving alongside can give you patience during fundraising, to know that there are others waiting for you to join them.
Most importantly, be encouraged about the work God has given you to do, knowing that we have the ever present companionship of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus left this earth, his parting words in Matthew 28:20 were, “And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” God doesn’t want you to be alone. So don’t be.
Emily Buikema, Fundraising Coach
To have the chance to breathe joy into asking for financial partnership, which can be alarming to so many, makes me honored to fill this role. I love my current home in Colorado, and I intend to hit (almost) every stereotype for the state’s residents: hiking, taking my two perfect dogs on walks by the river, driving my truck to the lake, and doing all of it with people I really like.