Over the many years of providing fundraising assistance to congregations and non-profits, we have found that there are three fundamental reasons why people give of their time, talents, and treasure:
Faith/Relationships – Giving is shaped by what we believe to be the purpose of our lives. In congregations, members give because of their faith in and love for their God and their church. In the secular world, it is the love of human kind. People experience the love of God through relationships with one other. They remain committed members of the congregation because of the relationships they have built over the years. The more that people are in relationship with those who will benefit from their giving, the more they will give. Those with the strongest relationships… those who are actively involved in the congregation… are usually some of the strongest givers.
The Opportunity or Cause – People are inspired to give to specific opportunities or causes which will benefit people in new and exciting ways. The more they “own” and understands the opportunity/cause, the more likely they are to support it through their giving. Leaders play a crucial role, for they carry the responsibility to communicate the opportunities with clarity and enthusiasm.
Asking – People give because they are asked to give. Asking is an art, which must be bold, forthright and specific; but never done in a heavy-handed way using pressure or guilt. Congregational leaders often struggle with “Asking”. It is important to embrace “Asking” as a joy and a blessing. People are very generous when they enjoy relationships, are inspired by the opportunity, and are intentionally asked to help.
(This current series of articles is taken in part from the book “Raising Money For Your Congregation”, written by Bob Connolly of The James Company, published by ACTA Publications https://actapublications.com/raising-money-for-your-congregation/)
Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company