Biblical stewardship provides the paradigm for Christian fundraisers. It begins with the acknowledgement that God who created all things is also the owner and provider of all that we need, including the resources to fund his kingdom work. What a liberating thought!
My conversion to biblical stewardship set me free as a fundraiser. As development director of the seminary where I was working I used to think about the money I had to raise before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning. The burden of raising the money felt heavily on my shoulders until I realized the truth that God is the owner, provider and my chief fundraiser.
It did not mean that I worked less and waited for God to rain resources from heaven. But it did change my attitude, and my approach to mobilizing God’s resources by depending on him as the provider. If anything, I worked harder to faithfully fulfill my work and the tasks before me and to do it with excellence knowing that God is my partner in my development job.
The transformation of the fundraiser is essential if she/he is to succeed in raising stewards who are rich toward God. As Scott Rodin and Gary Hoag say in The Sower: Redefining the Ministry of Raising Kingdom Resources, we must be sowers of biblical truths and we must have our bags full of seeds to sow.
In order to create a culture of biblical stewardship, giving and generosity within the organization and with those who partner with us, here are some practical guidelines:
- Articulate a theology of development right from the start. It will guide your development work from planning, budgeting, strategizing, and the way you communicate.
- The development professional embraces the biblical stewardship paradigm and transforms his/her thinking and lifestyle
- The organization intentionally creates a culture of stewardship, giving, and generosity beginning with its own people.
- Pursue transformational fundraising and not merely transactional fundraising. Your goal is to raise stewards who are rich towards God and not just dollars and euros.
- Listen to your people and commit to a partner-centric fundraising.
- Know your donors and where they are in this journey of transformation.
- Change the language of your communication into one of transformational fundraising.
- Measure success using kingdom outcomes.
- Do your development tasks with the highest level of excellence.
- Pray that God will flourish his work through you and your nonprofit organization.