What’s your cause?
Is it funding a Christian university or scholarship program? Perhaps a non-profit food pantry or a missions organization? No matter the cause, generating financial support (fundraising) is a necessary part of it, right?
The task seems daunting and perhaps even shallow sometimes; however, did you know Scripture teaches us how to fundraise well?
For three years, I interned at a small, non-profit food pantry in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I began to learn about running a non-profit. I quickly fell into the role of managing fundraising events and donor development. Soon after my internship ended, I began working for a Christian radio station in their donor department where my primary job has been to execute and manage up to eight fundraising events per year, and I’ve done so for over a year now.
Through these experiences, God has been teaching me three key fundamentals to honor Him in my fundraising efforts. I want to share them with others who may either be struggling or searching for some purpose in this task.
Biblical Fundraising Means We Seek the Glory of God
After going through many fundraising events, feeling frustrated by failed logistics or shortcomings in meeting the financial goals, God brought me to this important question:
What’s the purpose of my fundraising efforts?
You might be thinking, Isn’t the point of fundraisers to raise money to sustain a cause? Aren’t you working to bring encouraging music to the people of Cincinnati? Yes, those statements are true. However, is the ONLY goal of raising money to simply raise money?
The Bible says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Colossians 3:17a). In other places, Scripture says to do it as unto the Lord, not men. For example, if your goal in raising money for a Christian university is merely to equip students or provide higher education, aren’t you missing the main point of the task God has given you?
While these end goals are fruits of our labors, the motive for the labor is always to seek the glory of God, which is the first key to biblical fundraising. When we fix our eyes on the cause of Christ with pure motives in our personal lives and fundraising efforts, falling short of a goal doesn’t cause despair; it pushes us to ask for His help in these things.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Biblical Fundraising Means We Pray Earnestly
A vital way in which we seek God’s glory is to maintain relationship with Him through prayer. It can become a great struggle to take time out of our busy schedules to pray. Fundraising itself can bring about its own type of busyness. Which donor do I reach out to next? What’s the best pitch? How can we bring more money in? How do we maintain consistent partners in ministry? What’s the latest strategy for recruitment? And the questions go on and on.
In fundraising, the temptation is to get caught up in the task of bringing money in to the point we can’t see God.
But prayer is the best weapon to fight and focus.
Jesus told His disciples in Gethsemane, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41a)
One way I remember to take time to pray is by writing it into my checklist. I don’t do it to increase my chances of God giving us money, but simply so I don’t neglect God amid the daunting tasks.
Beware of the temptation to trade dependence on God’s wise provision for the sake of earning dollars. God knows what we need before we ask, and He certainly delights in His children running to Him.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
Biblical Fundraising Means We Leave the Results to God
How hard is it for you to trust? Personally, I find it’s THE hardest thing for me to do. I struggle to trust other people and even God sometimes. After all, can we really trust God with the results of our efforts in fundraising? Absolutely! Paul writes, “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). I believe this means if Christians are seeking to fundraise for God’s glory, with Christlike motives and prayerfully seeking Him, God will help us.
I’m NOT saying God will give us everything we bring to Him in prayer. I’m NOT saying your university will see a spike in donors if you simply pray. However, I AM saying God is wiser than you are, and He sees more than any of us can. That is what makes Him trustworthy with the results of our fundraising efforts. God’s plan may not look like ours. Our fundraising timetable may not be His for the university or radio station. Yet, I still urge you to leave the results of your efforts in His hands because that is the best place for them to be.
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:5–6a
Do you still believe fundraising is only about money? Hopefully, these principles from Scripture shed some light on fundraising for whatever cause God has placed you in. As we continue our daily lives of working toward our financial goals, may God give us grace to always fix our hearts on His glory and trust His will to be done in the universities we serve.