“People have such a need for friendship and for community that fund-raising has to be community building. I wonder how many churches and charitable organizations realize that community is one of the greatest gifts they have to offer. If we ask for money, it means we offer a new way of belonging.”- Henri Nouwen, The Spirituality of Fundraising
ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH TIME MANAGEMENT?
It continues to be a challenge for many of you to dedicate 15% of your time to fundraising. We know that this is a struggle across the board, and you’re not alone if you find it difficult to set aside your other responsibilities to focus on donor development for six hours per week.Here’s an idea that’s worked really well for Josh over the past couple of months.
“I set aside every Friday to focus on donor development. It’s blocked off in my calendar and I don’t schedule meetings with pastors or other work for the day. I connect with Leigh for a short phone call each morning, and then I focus on getting through the weekly tasks all at once. We actually developed a weekly checklist for me to use that helps guide me through this time. It’s really helped me to stay focused and keep up with the activity goals we’re setting.” - Josh CanningIf this is something you’d be keen to explore - let us know! We’d love to help you set it up. You can also feel free to ask Josh about how it’s working for him.-----
RECOMMENDED READING: THE SPIRITUALITY OF FUNDRAISING
In a recent discussion with Austin, he shared how much he enjoyed reading “The Spirituality of Fundraising” by Henri Nouwen. Austin is new to the fundraising game, and he had his first four donor meetings in the last month - two of which have already signed up as his first two partners. Congrats, Austin! Austin found inspiration in Nouwen’s suggestion that he should be proud and confident in the ask, offering his potential donors an opportunity. This attitude is expressed in our words and from our hearts, and even shown in how we hold our bodies physically (chin up, shoulders back).Nouwen shares advice from a successful fundraiser in Texas: “‘I ask for money standing up, not bowing down. Because I believe in what I am about, I believe I have something important to offer.’ Without apology, he invites people to be a part of his vision.” (p. 19)When asking for support, you can be confident knowing that God has placed you in this role and in front of this person for a reason.“Asking people for money is giving them the opportunity to put their resources at the disposal of the kingdom. To raise funds is to offer people the chance to invest what they have in the work of God. Whether they have much or little is not as important as the possibility of making their money available to God.” (p. 45)We encourage everyone to read this little book over the summer. It’s only 60 pages, so it’s a really fast read. You can find it on Amazon here. Feel free to ask Austin about it!
MAKE THE MOST OF THE SUMMER
According to Statistics Canada, Canadians give just under $13 billion annually to charities and nonprofits with 40% of all donations taking place in the last six weeks of the year. And 85% of those people give because they “personally believe in a cause.”
Armed with this data, you can still take advantage of the summer months and make big strides towards your fundraising goals. How, you ask?
Now, we don’t want to shout, but we can’t emphasize this enough, so it’s coming at your in all caps: PLANNING. In fundraising, summer is planning season. Once September hits, everything starts happening alarmingly fast and time speeds up as we barrel towards those vital last six weeks of the year.
July and August can provide us with a critical break from donor development work to focus on creating a strong plan for the giving season.
So, what do you need to do this summer to set yourself up for success in the fall?
We’ll be connecting with each of you individually on this, but we encourage you to think about how you can make the most of the summer planning season.
Read more from Imagine Canada on holiday giving in Canada.