Should Businesses Substitute Fundraising?

Learn why a business should never substitute for fundraising, especially in the context of missions. 

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The entire episode has been transcribed below. To download as a .pdf you can click here.


Brad: So Rob, one of the things that you're hearing as well, and we've talked about, this is that a lot of times they're asking not necessarily a matching grant, but an investment, a kingdom investment in a business.

And then that business, so the money rather than being donation money, it's a kingdom investment.

Sometimes it's donation in order to invest in business, but they want to see business outcomes that create ongoing revenue sources in the country.

Which is, a lot of times these fundraising efforts that are in country, have a combination of donors, as well as businesses, and everybody here is been working on that and thinking about that.

But principles, the principles of that you're teaching are the same principles for building ongoing relationships with Kingdom investors who want to see perhaps even return on their investment, or even a return on their investment in terms of business outcomes.

In terms of ongoing fee revenue, it's the same basic principles the same relationship. 

So somebody seeking investment would use the same relationship principles you're teaching as somebody seeking it on.

Fundraising Can Happen in Local Settings

Rob: All right, let me let me speak to that, because this will become a backdrop for a number of things that we're talking about.

I never like to see a business substitute for fundraising. And I love to see business.

I mean, jobs are critical to the to the alleviation of poverty and the return of dignity to communities. It's absolutely critical.

And that can be a very important part of any mission is encouraging the development of businesses, the encouragement of jobs, and if they can produce an income for the mission, at the same time that they're doing their programmatic work, of helping people get jobs and do stuff like that.

I really see it. One of the tendencies that we have to overcome though is to think of business instead of fundraising because somehow we're not able to do fundraising in our local setting. 

It's never been done here before. The local Christians are too poor. To help, we have to put an end to that idea, because it's simply not true.

And, so the resources you want to look at that can help you understand what I just said is there's a film that's up on the websites or will be up on the websites called "the handful of rice."

We produced this film for the 2010 Congress in Cape Town of Luzon. And it's a story of The Mizo people in how they fund their own missions.

A very inspiring tale of how even in the midst of the most dire poverty, they're able to support a missions movement that has literally led 95% of the country to be church going.

And so over the last hundred years, that's a very good resource to take a look at to deal with this. So I've got a bias towards fundraising.

Fundraising Causes a Multiplication Effect of Discipling

And the reason I have this bias, is the multiplication effect of the gospel. That the giver, the investor, the local Malawian that gets involved with you is a deeper disciple when they release even the smallest of gifts.

And we need to value even the smallest of gifts. That is the foundation of our work.

Not the dollar amount or the amount of money in a gift but a gift period. They are the living stones.

Expand this and in chapter two of the book and the reason I put it up there so quickly is to get to this idea that the actual act of giving is where the power of your work is. 

Because of the connectivity and because of what it does in the heart of the giver.

And when we when we don't do fundraising, we're denying that local discipleship.

We're denying the opportunity to participate in the great adventure of God's kingdom expansion.

And so that's one of the reasons that my bias is towards fundraising. Because of the multiplication effect of discipling.

And the spread of the gospel. And also the local accountability.

It will make your work stronger.

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Should Businesses Substitute Fundraising?


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