Where is Your Fundraising Universe?

Learn how understanding your fundraising universe can help you save time and raise more funding. 

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


Rob: Your Mission's Universe.

One of the critical things that you're gonna need to develop in your fundraising is an understanding of where your money is

Understand Your Fundraising Universe

You may think you know this, it was alluded to by our friends in the Caribbean. And also I think our friend in Argentina, that people were looking to the West or looking to the North from whence our help comes.

But boy, the Western money and Northern money into Latin American and the Caribbean started drying up about a decade ago.

Part of that was because donors began to realize that the strength of the church in Latin America that they were sending out their own missions.

And those people that wanted to go to the areas that were not reached started moving their funding away from Latin America and the Caribbean and difficult places in the Caribbean such as Haiti and others.

They started moving their funding to other less evangelized fields, which forced a number of NGOs and Christian missions in the South to start looking around for how to replace their funding.

They had to start thinking about their mission's funding universe. That is, what's the point box that you're in? Is it the entire world?

WEA leadership at the top level may see it that way. You may see it as let's say you're in Nigeria, that your funding universe is Nigeria. 

Or you may have an experience that your funding universe is a hybrid of Nigeria and the West.

Whatever it is, we need to look very critically at the universe so that you're not spending time looking for donors and investors to join you that are not gonna be very fruitful that there's not gonna be an area of success for you.

And so part of your exercise in developing your funding is to understand your fundraising universe.

But I want you to first and foremost focus on the localized aspect of it.

Expand the Pie 

Now, some of you may be thinking: I run a national organization.

If I fundraise here in my nation for the money that I need to run the operations that I've been challenged to take on, am I gonna be competing with my own church, my own churches and NGOs for funding?

And I wanna answer the question in this way, if God has called to the task that you have and you know that task, and you know that calling, then he's called people that will come alongside you.

It's not a matter of a fixed pie that if you get a piece of the pie, somebody else isn't gonna get it.

What we're talking about here is expanding the pie so everybody gets some.

Because every person in your country that calls on the name of Christ should be a donor.

Move People From Dependency to Disciple

We should deeply respect the small donors. The ones that give the two pennies.

The greatest, the most celebrated donor in all of history was a widow standing in the temple courts in this fabulously rich temple, putting in two pennies that the temple really didn't need.

Yet Jesus celebrated her for her faithfulness because he credited her heart. And that's what we need to do is credit the hearts of our people and engage them.

Because as they become generous, the fullness of Christ in their lives will be realized.

That idea of giving and particularly if you're new to giving, or if you're new to the idea that you can give, if you help people get through that, their discipleship will go much, much deeper.

And you will be moving people from dependency to disciple.

So when you look at your orbit, what is that framework that you can fundraise in?

Closing Thoughts

I'll give you a simple example. When I was at the Rescue Mission, we were in a County of California called Orange County.

It had a residency, maybe there were two or three million people. So a pretty big County.

That was my funding universe because our mission was local to the County. Our outreach was local to the County.

The people we were working with were the homeless, the distraught, those living on the streets.

What we used to call the least the less and the lost. They were, who we were working with and the givers were the local churches and individuals in our orbit.

We didn't need national money or international money. There's considerable wealth in Orange County.

So I'm not trying to compare our circumstance to yours. I'm just saying the principle of the orbit was there.

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Where is Your Fundraising Universe?


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