Are you ready to start fundraising for your ministry? Have you articulated your theology of resource development and communicated this internally in your organization? Your theology and philosophy of fundraising will serve as your guidepost as you embark on this important ministry. Let’s get started, then.
- Board and Leadership Commitment
Make sure you have everybody on board, including your board of trustees and the executive management. The commitment of the top leadership is essential to the success of ministry fundraising. Are your leaders prepared to commit resources—money, people, time, effort— needed to launch this ministry? One such investment is a qualified fundraising person, who will lead the fundraising program. That person is very important and he or she must be fully focused on fundraising and it is not your executive director or the financial officer who have other responsibilities.
- Form a Development Committee
I recommend creating a development committee composed of five to seven people to work with the resource development person in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the ministry fundraising plan. You can invite a couple of board members, ministry partners, a member of the executive management, or other who have concern and capacity to contribute.
- Create a Case for Support
Craft your case for support. This will serve as a basis for all your fundraising communication. What are you asking people to support that is life-changing? An inspiring and compelling case for support will rally people to your mission and vision for the future.
- Profile Giving to your Organization
Research the giving history of your ministry partners. Profile the giving for the past five years or more. You may already have a data base of partners and their contributions and you can get a picture of how many people are giving on what level. frequency, and designation of gifts.
- Make a List of Potential Partners
This is a good time to clean up your database or create one if you do not have that in place. Make a list of potential people and groups, who you can invite as ministry partners. They are the one who share the same passion, concern, interest in what you are doing. Ask your board of trustees and everyone in your organization to give names of people they know and other name referrals.
- Launch an annual fund campaign
The annual fund supports the money your organization needs every year to operate its programs and ministries. It pays for the operational expenses such as staff salaries, utilities, maintenance, and current program support. This is your annual budget or the general fund.
Before you begin to strategize your fundraising efforts, take a look at your giving profile to determine how many potential ministry partners or contributors you need and at what level of giving. Make sure you have enough number of people to approach who have the concern and the capacity to contribute. Twenty per cent of the people in your list will have the potential to give 80 per cent of your annual fund goal. It is the Pareto principle at work.
You can assign your executive director (ED) or a board member to approach people who have the potential to contribute the lead gift, that is the top gift in the annual fund campaign. Part of the job of the fundraiser is to mobilize, involve, engage, everyone in the organization to help with fundraising. It includes assigning the ED or the board of trustees to make the contact to prospective ministry partners with the greatest potential to give or contribute.
You will also need many volunteers to reach out to others. This is where your staff and everyone in the organization can contribute their efforts towards fundraising. You can train them how to use the annual fundraising tools such as brochures, or other literature you have prepared. The younger generation respond to social media and this is where you can use technology to assist you in your fundraising.
- Soak Everything in Prayer
Prayer should be an essential ingredient from planning to implementing your fundraising program. Everyone must pray. Engage your prayer warriors to soak all that you do in prayer.
Remember, that God is our chief fundraiser. God is a God of abundance and grace. He is the owner of all resources. He is also the provider. We only have to be faithful stewards of all that we are tasked to do as fundraisers. He will amply supply all that we need in order to fulfill his plans and purposes for his Kingdom work through your ministry.