God’s first priority is getting your donors’ hearts—and their heads. That may sound strange to development staff members who feel the daily pressure of raising money for ministries.
In one of the key New Testament passages on giving (2 Corinthians 8 and 9), the Apostle Paul tucked a revolutionary “gem” into this rich passage. He said the Macedonian churches “gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will” (8:5). God’s primary concern is that we—and our donors—be in right relationship with Him. After that, we should commit ourselves to ministries that are building His Kingdom.
Why does God first want our heads and our hearts?
Why God Wants Our Heads
He wants our heads because He wants us to understand who He is and what He created us to be and do:
- He is the Creator of all things, hence is the rightful owner of everything (Genesis 1-2; Psalm 24:1; 50:10, 12).
- He created people and gave us what He had created to meet our needs (Genesis 1:29).
- God also gave us the job of managing, or being good stewards, of all He created (Genesis 1:26; 2:15). This principle is best illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the “talents” (Matthew 25:14-30).
- He asks us to give back to Him a portion of what He has given us in recognition of His ownership (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). We do so to support those who minister to us and to help the needy.
- He holds us accountable for how we manage His resources (Genesis 3:8-19; Matthew 25:19-30; Romans 14:12).
- He wants us to remember His greatest gift to us—salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Why God Wants Our Hearts
He wants our hearts because He wants us to give back to Him with right motives and attitudes. Based on 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, God wants our giving to be characterized by:
- “Overflowing” joy (2 Corinthians 8:2)
- Excellence (8:7)
- Generosity (8:6)
- Sincere love for God and others (8:8)
- Willingness (9:7)
- Cheerfulness, literally, “hilarity” (9:7)
- Trust that God will meet our needs (9:8-11) as we help others
- Feeling satisfaction that others praise God because of our giving (9:13-14)
- Thankfulness for all He has given us (9:15)
Heads and Hearts of Your Donors
Ultimately, your donors are responsible for understanding God’s approach to giving and having right motives for giving. But as a fundraiser, here are 6 specific ways you can affect the “heads and hearts” of your donors:
- Show donors your first priority is helping them have a relationship with Jesus—and then become involved in building God’s Kingdom through your ministry.
- Help them understand a biblical approach to stewardship. You might consider giving them copies of Randy Alcorn’s book, The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving.
- Pray for your donors that they will exhibit godly motives and attitudes for giving.
- Compliment donors when you see them exhibit godly motives and attitudes.
- Demonstrate biblical stewardship in the way you treat your donors.
- Let your donors know how much the people who are impacted by your ministry appreciate their generosity.
By the way, when God has your donors’ heads and hearts, their money will follow.
Advocace can help you implement a fundraising plan that draws on the principles of biblical stewardship. Let’s start with a confidential, free coaching call >>