Any effective fund raiser needs to consistently practice these 3 key things if he or she ever wants to be successful in raising funds for ministry.
The 1st P is PERSISTENCE
In fund raising, it is far too easy to give up. You place a phone call seeking an appointment, and after several attempts you simply give up. Or you might get a prospect on the line and the minute that person replies that they are too busy to meet, you think to yourself, “I can scratch that name from my list”. It could even be sitting down and sharing your vision and the prospect or donor fails to say yes and you say, “they will never give”.
The Lord has allowed me to be very successful as a fund raiser and I am convinced that persistence has made a difference. I can tell you the number of phone call attempts I have made, how many “no’s” to appointments I have received and how many “no- I-can’t-help-at-this-time” responses I have heard in my fund raising career.
As I serve as the Founder and Executive Director of Inner City Impact www.InnerCityImpact.org, I have found it very helpful to get people here to see our ministry first hand. Probably 90% of those who come to visit become donors. However, it has taken persistence. On more than one occasion I have had visitors turn to me and say, “The only reason I am here is because of your persistence”, and then they quickly add, “This is a wonderful ministry working with inner city children; I wish I would have come sooner.
Former President, Calvin Coolidge, had this to say about Persistence
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
The 2nd P is PATIENCE
Webster offers this definition of patience—“The act or power of calmly or contentedly waiting for something due or hoped for”
We all want needed funds for ministry to come in today if not yesterday. The very name People Raising reminds us that we are dealing with People. Prospects and donors need to be brought along in the process. Don’t expect them to initially have the same level of passion and vision you have. Their interest and commitment needs to grow and be developed and that calls for patience on your part as a fund raiser.
If you ever intend to put your vision in front of major donors, you will have to wait your turn. With many demands upon their busy schedules it could take months before they might have time to talk briefly, let alone give you a chance to present your project. It is going to call for patience.
One thing that reminds me of the importance of patience is to recognize that if I fail to be patient, I can burn my bridges for the future. I would rather think long range and patience can get me there.
The 3rd P is PASSION
Prospects and donors love to be around those who exhibit passion. They love to be around people that are driven by a God-given passion, a God-given assignment.
Nehemiah was one of those God driven men. God worked through Nehemiah’s, emotions, mind and will and put in motion the rebuilding of Jerusalem that was all part of God’s design.
What is your passion? Are you focused on it? Are you sharing it with others? Keep in mind that the Lord is in the business of translating his agenda into the hearts of his people. Prayerfully look to the Lord for His assignment for you and give God’s people a chance to partner with you financially as you seek to raise needed funds.
There you have it: the 3 P’s of Fund Raising.
Consistently practice these in your fund raising ministry and watch God at work.