Writers who are “stuck” call it “writer’s block;” actors say that they’re “in a drought” and jazz musicians who suddenly can’t play well say that they’ve “lost their mojo.” Hockey players are “dusters” when they’re not asked to play in a game and other sports stars get “in a slump.” Every profession carries with it periods of non-action and even failure.
Sometimes in the ministry of fundraising for God’s Kingdom, we take ourselves too seriously. Perhaps we began by envisioning that since we’re bringing in funds for Christ – of course, every day will be successful, right?
When you find that your fundraising activities are not successful, it’s easy to get down on yourself or become desperate which can make matters worse. Your negative or forceful attitude can start showing to those with whom you are speaking, which can ensure a continued lack of success! And, if you’re the employer of a fundraiser having challenges, you’re in a tough position too. Your organization needs the revenue to survive; what can you do?
Fundraising is a profession that depends entirely on other people so it’s easy to have a bad day, week or even months since we can’t control others! And, biblical fundraisers hold themselves to a higher standard. We do not try to trick, shame or manipulate people into giving since these “tactics” will not produce faithful givers who pray for the ministry and will usually reduce long term fundraising success. On the other hand, we cannot sit in front of our computers and pray, expecting God to do all the work! So, how do we overcome a “dry spell?”
For the fundraiser:
- Focus on successful days that you have had; what did you do right? What could have been better? What are your favourite fundraising projects? Think about them and then begin to study those projects that are not your favourites so that you can refine the phrases that you use to encourage others to give.
- What are some additional small accomplishments that you can perform to prepare yourself for busier days ahead? Ensure that the data on your givers is up to date. Organize your work area and update your research on your organization by re-reading the documents you were given when you began your work. Review the organizational web site.
- Do you have a friend in whom you can confide? Talk through the issues you’re having – professional colleagues are particularly helpful. Being vulnerable to people you trust will allow them the freedom to call on you when they have “one of those days” in the future.
- Take time for yourself. Especially try to get some exercise. Having a change of scenery usually gives you creative thought; exercise gives your body that creative break from stress.
- Most of all, continue faithful activities. Funds received are a lagging indicator of actions already accomplished:
- Research applicable news sources to find networks and groups of people – perhaps in churches – who might be interested in your organization. Pray for the Lord’s leading as you research.
- Go through old notes to ensure that you have followed up on every tip that others have given you for new giving relationships.
- Start at the top of your list of givers and serve them without appearing to “chase” them. Take notes of questions that you want to ask them when you next connect. Most importantly, spend at least five solid minutes in prayer for them, their families and their work.
- Meditate on Psalm 77 and follow the instructions of Psalm 98
Above all, we know that God has called fundraisers to a very special – and sometimes intense – ministry. Giving increases with dependable, trusted, informed and gracious fundraisers who are another type of frontline worker. Be faithful in blessed and prayerful activities and be patient! As you faithfully remind givers in a spirit of ministry, the Holy Spirit will lead them to fund the ministry.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 : Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.