Fundraising as Ministry
by Cathy Kits, SCSBC Consultant for Development ◊
When you think of the word fundraising, what comes to mind?
Fundraising within a Christian context is an integral and critical element to the work we are doing in Development in our Christian schools. It is a part of our mission.
But what does it mean to raise funds within a Christian context? Is Christian fundraising nothing more than secular fundraising, with some Bible verses strewn throughout appeal letters?
Consider a different perspective, one where the fundraising process is about facilitating the work of God to transform hearts to the image of Christ. If the focus of fundraising is to facilitate God’s work in the hearts of His believers, then the priority is to see a transformation of the heart first, which will then result in generosity.
Transformation can be defined as a process in which we reflect an ever-deepening understanding of the love and generosity of God. Scripture repeatedly calls us to be stewards of God’s grace, of life, of possessions. To steward something requires that we recognize that the thing in question does not belong to us and that we are responsible for how it is used.
Can fundraising truly be a part of growing stewards to be rich toward God? The answer is a resounding YES!
Fundraising as ministry means mentoring, discipling and helping believers to become eternally rich toward God, and as a result they will be generous, reflecting the generous heart of God. God has given each of us a unique role to play in facilitating a “revolution of generosity” to Christ’s kingdom.1
God’s people give to God’s work as they are led by the Spirit of God. Recognizing this will likely mean changing the way you go about raising funds and relating to givers. It also eliminates the spirit of competition: a dollar given elsewhere for a Kingdom cause is not a dollar lost, but one contributing to the spiritual growth of the giver.
Articulating a clear vision is important: people will ultimately only respond with stewardly giving if they understand and identify with the mission and vision of our schools. But our work goes beyond that.
A relationship with supporters that leads to ongoing spiritual transformation (in them and us) builds the kingdom of God, including our schools. If we ask our donors to make a transactional giving decision, we will fail both our schools and the kingdom of God.
Christian fundraising is not a means to an end. It is an end in itself!
A challenge! Are we modeling faithful, godly stewardship? The first step in the transformation of our schools is our own, personal transformation.
We need to be the steady, clear voices for holistic stewardship in our schools, remembering that God is a God of infinite abundance. As Christians, we are called to lives of stewardship as managers of all that God has entrusted to us. And our giving reflects our gratitude for what God has provided.
1 Willmer, Wesley K. (2008), Revolution in Generosity.
Jeavons, Thomas H. & Basinger, Rebekah Burch (2000), Growing Givers’ Hearts.
Rodin, Scott R. (2000), Stewards in the Kingdom.