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Macular Degeneration in Fundraising By Ron Frey

What does Macular Degeneration have to do with Fundraising?

My grandmother eventually lost her sight to macular degeneration. In preparation, we took steps to help her adjust to the reality that she would eventually go blind. We helped her map out her apartment and burned into her memory the number of steps from her bed to the bathroom. We organized her kitchen so she could “get by” on her own as long as possible, and safely perform some basic food preparation tasks. Then, after she lost her sight, she lived for more than 10 years until the age of 97. 

Macular degeneration in fundraising is like having a just “get by” mentality. The needs of our world demand a bigger ministry vision, but our limited perspective on whether or not we can raise enough money, prevents us from pursuing it. So we scale our ministry vision back down to the size of our comfort zone in fundraising. 

If you have macular degeneration as a fundraising leader, the cure is to be reminded of the map God has given us for ministry – His promises for abundant provision! 

As Dallas Willard writes,

God is not worried that he is going to run out of something. God is beyond rich. He is overflowing with everything that is good and everything we need… It is important to remember this when we are fretting over a perceived need. In such a time we may be tempted to think that maybe, just maybe, God is as stingy and small as we are. He is not.

(Life without Lack, pg 23)

When your vision of the future is fragmented by your mindset of lack, think again. Refresh your mind with the promises of God. Here’s just a few. 

  • “My God shall provide all your needs according to his riches in glory.” (Phil 4:19)
  • “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (and the rest of Psalm 23)
  • “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (II Cor. 9:8) We often quote this verse for our donors, but fail to apply it to ourselves!

God’s provision is not always apparent to the naked eye. It could be sitting in His chosen people’s bank accounts, income, and investments, or a forthcoming tax refund, or an inheritance. The givers who may support your vision and ministry may not even be aware of it right now. But the resources are definitely there, and are there in abundance!

I have a quote hanging in my office that reads

God has already provided for everything He has called me to do.”

I encourage you to never lose sight of this truth!

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Ron Frey​ is president of Frey Resource Group,​  a strategic and creative consulting firm that helps non-profit organizations inspire joyful generosity and achieve extraordinary success in fundraising. He has trained and consulted with hundreds of organizations on branding, donor communications, major gifts, foundation grants and capital campaigns.


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