This is the second in a series of guest posts by Howard Freeman – Founder and Principal of Zoey Creative Development, a charitable giving consultancy in NYC serving both organizations and also individual philanthropists.
He is also the author of the upcoming book on online giving called, ‘Making A Difference 2.0’ (Skyhorse Publishing, May 2012) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
GIVE TO GET
Last time we looked at how to find more money.
Christian organizations should avail themselves of select professional tools like prospect research, because fundraising and engaging donors in a vision is a profession and should be approached with professional standards and ethics.
This week we look at raising more money. Our recommendation is not exactly ‘orthodox’ by traditional fundraising standards. But it is biblical.
Most organizations try to employ increasing numbers of tactics to make people give larger gifts and more frequently. Some of these techniques are certainly useful, such as one- or two-click online giving, multiple methods of giving, fundraising events, classes in budgeting (to reduce debt and free up income for giving), etc.
But the truly radical way to get people to give is to teach them what the Bible has to say about money, who Jesus is, and calling them to live a holistically generous life.
What makes it radical is to do it with no expectation of return. (Try passing this by your church finance team!)
One group doing this very well and offering programs almost free to Christian organizations is Generous Giving.
Their ‘Journey of Generosity’ (JOG) events now have metrics to show that the transformation of attendees is not just deeper discipleship but—to make those finance teams happy—fuller coffers. Of those surveyed:
- 75% say that the JOG “changed their perspective or practice related to generosity.”
- 43% say they have already made a new gift they would not have made before the JOG.
- 76% say they plan to make a gift in the next 12 months they would not have made before the JOG.
- 97% say they have talked about the impact with someone else.
- 77% say they plan to attend another GG event in the next 12 months.
The key, though, is that it must be done for them, and not for your organizational budget.
While space doesn’t allow here, studies by George Barna and Brian Kluth show that regularly talking about the budget from the pulpit can increase giving marginally, but teaching on generosity can increase giving exponentially.
In the next and final post, we look at something—stewardship—that the best secular and faith-based organizations both do well.
And I use the metaphor of the world’s oldest profession. (It’s not what you think…)