The Bible tells us that the Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills. However, if you are like me you don’t always get to see the cattle of funding.
There are times when our vision is larger than our current budget. When we can dream of a city-wide ministry and yet we can barely buy the neighbor kids a drink from McDonalds.
How do you raise funds? Where do you go to find the cattle of provision for your ministry? I’d like to share a few thoughts on this idea of raising funds, while raising people.
When it comes to raising funds and ministry supporters belief is where it all begins. You must first take your direction from Jesus as your guide and passion and believe. Believe in the vision He has given you and your team, believe that God has a calling on your life, believe what you teach your students every week. If you can’t believe in the passion of Jesus and the impact of your ministry no one else will either. Remember even the giants of the Bible like David were given dreams and vision years prior to them coming to pass. So if your vision seems out of reach, find a pastor, friend or mentor that you can ask some honest questions and seek the Lord for confirmation. Once you are given confirmation, take it to the next level and write it down. Write down your vision as a reminder of the calling on your life. Even the Israelites were asked to build reminders into their life, so they would not forget the promises of God. It is amazing how great we are at forgetting the promises of God.
After you have taken time to write out your vision it is time to share. Find a close group of friends and supporters to bring this vision for ministry before. Express your goals, action plans and needs. This is a powerful phase of encouraging them to be apart of your God size dream. Remember you are asking them to support God’s calling, not support you. Your need may happen to be personal financial support. Yet, remember they are giving to Jesus and supporting the vision of Jesus. This is a great reminder when we are planning budgets or paying expenses for our programs. Allow God to bring investors into your life that will be able to share in the vision of your ministry. I find it helpful to find donor and supporters that can relate the focus of my ministry. For instants, if I am trying to raise support for kids that struggle in academics, I would prefer to talk with people that have a common desire to see students increase their education. Don’t hear me wrong, everyone can be a supporter of your ministry. Since we asking them to SHARE in our ministry I find it stronger when their is a common passion.
So you have a team of supporters and donors. Always remember they want to share in the joy of the ministry with you. Often times we forget that we are called to CONFIRM with our donors and supporters the fruit of the ministry. Confirm the success and trials of the previous donor season. Let them see and hear your ministries victories. Not everyone can have or is called to live the life and ministry you have. Yet, they might be called to invest and support this ministry. Confirm in them that they made a wise choice with their resources by supporting you with their time, money or energy. In the business world we call this the ROI (return on investment).
I look forward to sharing more about how to raise funds, while raising people. Join me with Ron McConico on Saturday, July 28 for a Youth Resources training event on building individual donors and supporters.
See ya Saturday! – Phil Nelson
Starts: July 28, 2012 @ 8:30 am
Ends: July 28, 2012 @ 12:00 pm
Place: 2114 Queen Ave. North, Minneapolis, Minneapolis 55411