When Fundraising Goes From Transaction to Transformation

Fundraising for gospel-driven organizations should not stop at transactions. Learn how through the communion of giving and receiving, you can take fundraising from transaction to transformation.

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Introduction

When it comes to fundraising, it always begins with a transaction, that is, the exchange of money, the simple exchange of money.

We do transactions all the time. We buy a soda at the tienda. We purchase a car.

How Do You Go From Transaction to Transformation?

Everything has this transactional aspect when we exchange money for a good or a service, and when we give, there's still this transactional nature where I give you something, or you give me something, and how do we go from that transaction to this calling that we all have that are involved in missions?

And that is to be transformative, to bring God's transformative love and message to a hurting society and to hard places.

And so what we're really seeking at the end of the day as we come together in cooperation is this communion of giving and receiving because this is how we take a mere transaction, and we take it into transformation. 

And in this communion of giving and receiving, when it happens, what occurs is the giver gives you trust because you know, those of you or all of you who are leading and working in very challenging circumstances as you bring the gospel to bear in your settings.

You need trust when you're doing your job. You can't be looking over your shoulder at your givers and investors and wondering what they're thinking and how they're gonna help.

That's not the kinda relationship you want. You want a relationship of trust.

You build that relationship of trust through accountability. That's what we worked with last week.

So at this place of communion, there is accountability and trust

One is offered by the giver. The other is offered by the organization.

We Are All Equals at the Foot of the Cross

That's our offerings as we come to the cross, and we're equals there. There are no underdogs. There are no overdogs.

There are no Westerners and Southerners and majority world folk. This is past all barriers.

This is where we become givers and receivers. This is where all are in the body of Christ are equals at the foot of the cross.

There's a very important thing to understand here because it's in this place, in the empty cross, that we find our joy.

As we begin to commune with each other and with the Lord, we begin to see that we're fulfilling his will and his purposes and in his way, and so in working towards this communion of giving and receiving between our investors and ourselves, this is what we're working towards, this joy, the joy of expressing your worship to God through giving to you, a form of discipleship for the giver that you are helping them accomplish.

It's one of the things that they get from giving, is this sense of discipleship and that God owns it all.

Fundraising is Not Begging; it is Inviting

All right, this is a critical thing in moving from transaction to transformation.

At the foot of the cross, there's no begging, only giving and receiving, and fundraising is not begging. It's a common misconception that people fear. 

If we could do a show of hands, and people were willing to say what's deep in their heart about how they feel about the actual act of fundraising, or even thinking about the process, or hoping somebody else is going to do it, what's at the root of your concern about doing fundraising is that you don't have time, is that you feel like it might be out of God's will, that you're supposed to just pray your resources in.

There could be a number of reasons, but if you think it's begging, that is a, that is going to keep you from being effective in your fundraising.

It is not. It's inviting. You're inviting someone to join you on their journey.

Now, this fundraising is not begging. I'll tell you just a quick story.

In my work for, I began working for a philanthropy called Fieldstead and Company for six years in 1983 and then started at First Fruit in 1990, and I'm still working there now.

So I'm more than 36 years in looking at fundraising, and countless meetings, countless case studies as we work to help people get their proposals in shape for our boards to make decisions.

I've had a number of people come into my office and hope to disarm what they consider a super-tense meeting by telling me that they hate fundraising.

They're trying to defuse the situation. Instead, what they made me feel like is that I'm down in some sewer.

I'm in the sewer or the basement of the Christian mission because we're just here for filthy lucre, to give you the necessary money you need to buy your groceries and do your activities, but fundraising is the worst job in the organization.

If you think that way, you're never gonna get very far, if you fear fundraising. It made me feel like, you know, I wanted to say to the people that came into my office, they hate fundraising,"

Well, thank you for jumping down in the sewer with me. 

You know, watch out for the little brown floaty things." They feel like they're tainting themselves, coming into fundraising.

If you begin with that activity, you're gonna be a long way from communion.

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