Ask yourself this question: Why did the people that chose to give their money, donate it to your cause?
As leaders and fundraisers for our organizations, we need to not only be asking this question but we also need to learn how to answer it. We know that the Holy Spirit leads his people to be givers based on three factors: Need, Relationship, and Vision; so let’s start there.
Did you know that the lowest percentage of giving is based upon need? Only 8% of the Evangelical Christians, who give, give in order to be the answer to a particular need. However, in my work with fundraising people, I see that most of our organizations function in a “high needs world”. Our needs are real and tangible, and so we talk more about them than we do anything else. This approach worked 20 years ago with the World War II generation, but that generation, and that mindset, has passed.
Sometimes people, about 20%, will be compelled to give because they know an individual or respect the person that is in charge. There is a desire to be associated with this leader and so people are moved to give. This can be effective, but what happens when that individual moves on, or is no longer the face of your organization? This method of fundraising is like a band aid fix. It can cover the immediate wounds and stop the bleeding, but is not the answer for reviving your fundraising efforts.
This leaves vision. It has been shown that over 70% of this population of Evangelical givers gives to a dream or vision. And, when someone is inspired by a dream they are more likely to share the story with those around them.
I just finished an amazing book, “Making the Impossible Possible” by Bill Strickland. Mr. Strickland says this:
“Everyone trying to build organizations and lives that matter face long odds but (they) refuse to let their dreams perish or die. They didn’t ask themselves if their dreams were practical or even possible. They didn’t allow themselves to be boxed in by conventional thinking. They followed their hearts, and despite huge obstacles and a thousand sound, practical reasons to give up along the way, they found the strength, faith, resourcefulness, and creativity to make their dreams come true.”
So I ask you, what is your dream? How are you living an extraordinary life? Are you purposefully and passionately sharing that vision? Remember more than 70% of God’s people are waiting for your dream to capture their heart, mind, and wallet.
Isn’t it time we started dreaming again? Time that we inspire our staff, our donors, our friends, our communities, with a dream that is beyond just us; a dream that is God-sized and worth sacrificing for? It’s time to change our worlds! It’s time to start dreaming!