How is Christian fundraising different from secular fundraising? Is there a difference or do we employ the same methods and tactics that secular fundraisers use?
Some of you may have attended seminars and conferences sponsored by Christian groups or you may have read books and articles written by Christians. You may have noticed that there is not much difference in terms of strategies and methods between secular and Christian fundraising. It is only during the past ten years do we find books about a characteristically Christian fundraising such as those written by Scott Rodin, Gary Hoag, and Wesley Willmer.
Biblical fundraising views that all resources come from God—the owner and provider of everything. This approach relies on God to sustain his Church and his kingdom work. Your responsibility as a Christian fundraiser is to faithfully perform your duty as a trustworthy and competent steward.
The Transformational Approach
A faithful and competent steward employs biblical fundraising that is transformational versus transactional in its approach. A transformational approach aims to grow faithful stewards who are rich towards God. It seeks to nurture generous givers who will give towards kingdom work.
Christian fundraisers see their role as sowing biblical stewardship truths in the hearts of people. They believe that God is the fundraiser. They pray for people to be rich and generous towards God. They also model Christian generosity.
The Transactional Approach
In contrast, a transactional approach relies on the leader as the fundraiser for the organization and uses strategies and tactics that are sure to work in order to achieve the target. It is merely a transaction—seeking the gift in order to accomplish the goals of the organization. The focus is on getting something whereas, in transformational fundraising, the aim is imparting something.
Transactional fundraisers rely on their own efforts, but in transformational fundraising, the Christian stewards leave the results to God. Friend-raising or people-raising is all about relationships. Transformational fundraising is about our relationship with God.
In traditional fundraising, success is measured by efficiency and by the amount of money raised. In transformational fundraising, success is seen in raising stewards who grow in the grace of giving. Instead of using worldly metrics, success is measured by kingdom outcomes.
Applying Transformational Approach
- Shift your own paradigm from transactional to transformational fundraising.
- Go to the Lord in prayer and ask what he is doing in your life, in your organization.
- Take a step of faith and obey what you heard from the Lord.
- Begin to look at people as co-stewards on a journey of transformation.
- Seek God’s agenda in your personal life and in your organizational programs.
- Examine your organizational goals and align them with God’s kingdom purposes.
- Earnestly pray for people and give them biblical verses that will help them grow in their stewardship and in the grace of giving.
- Organize a prayer team who will act as your prayer warriors.
The traditional approach, therefore, is unique because it focuses on God and His Kingdom work and transforms both the receiver and the giver in the process.