Measuring Fundraising Success By Dr. Zenet Maramara
A Different Way of Measuring Fundraising Success
Traditional fundraising measures success in terms of meeting targets: amount of money raised, return on investment (ROI), increase in giving and donor data base. All these are good, but if success is measured by these targets only, then we are merely transactional and not transformational fundraisers.
From Transaction to Transformation
Transformational fundraisers shift from transaction to transformation. They are the first to be transformed in their mindset about the ultimate source of money and resources—God. In the book, The Sower, Redefining the Ministry of Fundraising, Gary Hoag and authors liken the fundraiser to a sower, who spreads God’s truth as he/she interacts with people.
Success is measured in our personal spiritual growth and having our seed bag full in order to sow seeds in the hearts of donors. Success is measured in terms of donors growing in their relationship with God and eventually their relationship with their money and resources. It leads to generous giving, as they grow in their journey of becoming a more faithful steward.
Start each day with a prayer for God to lead you and be sensitive to the correction of the Spirit. Ask him to fill your seed bags that you may have enough to sow for the day. Meditate on the word of God and seize every opportunity to share this with every donor you meet.
Growing Stewards Who are Rich Towards God
One plants, another waters, but eventually, it is God who brings the increase, (1 Cor. 3:6). Transformational fundraising grow stewards who are rich towards God. The more we sow the truth that God is the owner of everything and we are merely stewards, the more we can see increase and success in our fundraising.
Jim is a fundraiser in a graduate seminary. He treats every donor with the same value and respect. He gives each one of his donors the same quality time, no matter how much they contribute. He would regularly visit donors, pray with them, and minister to their needs. You would think that this is not practical because you have learned that major donors deserve more personal and special treatment, and those giving less can just receive mass marketing communication. Well, not for Jimmy because he looks at all donors as stewards of God who need encouragement in their journey of faith and giving. The result is more people growing in their relationship with God and their resources. That, to Jim, is the real success in fundraising!
Do you think those people will start talking about Jim and his seminary? Sure enough, the more those donors realize that Jim is more concerned about their person and their spiritual growth, rather than treat them as sources of funds, the more committed they become to the work of Jim and his school.
At the end of the day, God will not ask what we have produced and accomplished but rather how fruitful we are. If you are called into the ministry of fundraising, the measure of your success is the fruitfulness of your seed sowing and of course your own spiritual maturity in all areas as a steward of God.
Dr. Zenet Maramara is the founder/president of Christian Stewardship Association and the chairman of Christians in Conservation, an A Rocha associated project. She was a professor of biblical stewardship at Asian Theological Seminary and former director of the ATS Strategic Leader Development. She organized and directed the MBA in Biblical Stewardship and Christian Management program of ATS.
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