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This is the third 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 howard@zoeycreativedevelopment.com


 

GARDENING IS ACTUALLY THE WORLD’S OLDEST PROFESSION

During the last two segments, we’ve looked at finding more money and raising more money.

This week, we look at tending to what we’ve found and been entrusted with.

Wise farmers, and smart geneticists who deal with environmental issues, know that over-farming or farming the wrong crops can all but permanently ruin a piece of land.

Those of us in ministry who ask our people to give need to consider them not as ATMs but as living, organic beings who are created in God’s image (Gen 1), are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139) and in fact are God’s very handiwork (Eph 2:10).  If we truly took these truths to heart, we would fully engage in the top two tasks yet not fail to do the last.

Let the ground ‘lay fallow’ sometimes.

One of my favorite ministry leaders sends monthly letters that one might expect would ask for support but instead tell a story and relate one of God’s truths.  They bless me.  I look for them in the mail, and I have given to this organization simply because it refreshes me, in addition to the good work I believe it does.

Likewise, the national political campaigns that have raised the most money online since 2000 have been the ones that emphasize building community first and ask for money second.  (They want money, no doubt, but they know what must come first in donors’ minds.)  The most successful of these to date solicited one time for every nine news items or community messages.

Refresh your donors.

Thank them often.

And trust the sovereignty and goodness of God who—when you selflessly invest in the spiritual growth of your givers, whom he has made for a purpose—will provide for you to carry out your purpose as an organization.

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 howard@zoeycreativedevelopment.com


 

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…)

This is the first 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 howard@zoeycreativedevelopment.com.


 

There is not a ministry which I’ve heard or read about that doesn’t need to raise more money, or raise more money this year than last year.  If you’re in the group that still needs to raise money, here are tips to find more, raise more, and sustain more. 

A METAL DETECTOR WILL FIND THE NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK

Most ministries and even churches go to “the same pockets,” leaving these individuals and families worn out and even discouraged, especially if they hear from the leaders only around the end of the fiscal year or during campaigns. 

What most organizations fail to do, though, is look at steady givers deeper in their database or even to do research on them.

Considering “prospect research,” however, appalls a lot of Christian organizations.

But just as some churches should consider a press release, even though that seems counter to “what churches do,” organizations of all types should know what giving capacity their constituents have.

image: vichie81

At the last two organizations I worked for, we used a research tool that my firm now uses with our clients.  At my most recent organization, using this at the beginning of a campaign translated into more than $100,000 of unanticipated gifts in the first two months, making the tool cost less than $0.03 per dollar raised.  It became cheaper as more gifts came in.

If you don’t want to invest in using a research tool, consider these measures to find more gifts and more donors among older and younger constituents: Continue Reading…