Ministry Tips and Tools: Effective Ministry part 6: Fundraising for your Ministry

Today I would like to talk about money for ministry.

1 Tim 6:10 says: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. NKJV

Please note it says the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, not money. Money is a good thing, especially when it is used to further the kingdom of God. In order for your ministry to succeed, you need money.

Now I understand that a majority of all TMCI ministers support their own ministries and that is fine if you feel God called you to do that. But I encourage you to let others sow into your ministry so that they can be blessed.

Remember in Luke 8:3, it tells us that Jesus had people who supported him.

Let me say first, if you are a church, you need to teach on tithing. God’s method of supporting the local church is through the tithe. We must teach the people that when they tithe, God will bless them (Mal. 3:8-10). We do our people a disservice if we do not teach on tithing. One of the most effective ways I have seen tithing taught is by allowing people in the congregation to testify of how God blessed them because of their tithing.

Fund raising is a concern for most ministries. The need for finance is one the most common prayer request on the TMCI monthly reports. All TMCI ministries are ‘faith based’ ministries which means, first and foremost, we rely on God to provide resources which He usually does through His people.

The most effective way to have people give to your ministry is to look for friends, not just donors. Making friends means that you take the time to learn what is going on in their lives. Show them that you care about them as individuals. People know when you just look at them as an opportunity to get their money. The best way to make friends is to be one.

We should build a life style of caring for and communicating with those who support us. We should share about what God doing in our lives, but it is equally important to learn from our donors what’s going on in their lives so you can pray more effectively for them. It is important that we pray for our supporters us and their families. Send a card or words of encouragement to them. Send greetings on their birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions in their lives or the lives of their families.

Please remember those who give to you view themselves as part of your ministry, so make sure you acknowledge and thank them for their gift and update them on your activities as well.

Remember most people are not good communicators so if they do not correspond with you do not get discouraged because you have not heard from them. Above all, do not remove them from your list because you never know how many are praying for you.

Communication is the critical part of maintaining friends. If they are not in your immediate area, when you visit or pass through their area stop in to visit them. Call them from time to time. Skype is a tool that God gives us to talk face to face with our donors. Consider using this tool as a way to maintain your friendships.

If your donors live close to your ministry, get them involved physically (if possible) in your ministry. Keep them involved with frequent updates.

Some important methods of communication are:

Website   We strongly suggest that you have a website for your ministry. The website should state your vision and give frequent updates on your ministry. The website also provides opportunity to reach out worldwide. One ministry reported that they are receiving monthly donations from Australia. If you do not have a website, and would like help in creating one, we suggest Cheryl Eaton, our TMCI webmaster, who has helped many TMCI ministries get started. Her email is [email protected] .

We also strongly suggest a quarterly newsletter. The newsletter should state your vision and ministry activities for the preceding quarter. Send your newsletter to relatives (even those second and third cousins), your insurance agent, doctor, dentist, hairdresser, etc. In other words, send it to everyone you know! If you minister in a church, send it to the pastor and missions committee.

Suggestions for the newsletter:

  1. Show what you’ve been doing by brief positive articles of interest to your readers

  2. Include your schedule of ministry dates or your goals in the coming months

  3. Have a prayer list of needs for your ministry

  4. Have fun and make your newsletter fun and interesting.

  5. Keep it to one or two pages.

Don’t expect much response at first; many people will wait to give until they know that this is not a whim but a genuine ministry.  Continue to send quarterly newsletters, using e-mail and regular mail.  Keep in mind, however, that some older people may not have email so you will need two lists – one for email and one for snail mail.

We encourage you to look for Christian businesspeople or organizations that will help your ministry. If you get an appointment with a businessperson, make sure you have a brochure and information you can leave: something that clearly states your vision and ministry. Have lists of people who will give you a good recommendation. You probably will be given half an hour to give your presentation, but be prepared to present your ministry in five minutes. If you do not get a commitment at the first meeting, find out when you can contact them for a decision and make sure you call at that time, not before or after.

Grants are another way to fund your ministry; however we discourage new ministries from seeking grants since the process can be time consuming and many organizations that give grants do not accept unsolicited applications.  After your ministry is established (has a track record) people may consider giving you a grant.

If you decide to apply for a grant we suggest that hire an experienced grant writer; perhaps someone will volunteer or hire a grants writer who will work on a contingency basis (fee or percentage when the grant is received). You will have a better chance of obtaining a grant if your ministry meets a social as well as spiritual need.  If you decide to apply for grants, TMCI will provide all information needed to prove your tax exemption

Other method of passive fund raising is having an offering box at your ministry location. Have your vison statement on a sign by the box so people will know what you are doing.

Several ministries have incorporated a business into their ministries to help fund the ministry. For example, some ministries have thrift stores that help support their ministry. However, keep in mind there is a cost to start a business and it might fail. It also may take away ministry time if you do not have help.

Recently, I have seen some of our people sign up with organization such as Go Fund Me. I have heard that many have succeeded in reaching their goals. These organizations usually charge somewhere between 5 to 8%. But they seem to be effective.

The most effective fund raising method is to make friends of the ministry and maintain that friendship. Next time I going to teach on: keys to Successful Secondary Leadership which was requested by Rev. Lillian Spearman

Be Blessed,

Bishop Bob Coulter

The book I would recommend is:

Friend raising: building a Missionary Support Team That Lasts by Betty J. Barnett