Nonprofit Causes - A Positive Message
What should you say to your donors these days? As you write them with updates, appeals, ministry reports, and financial reports, what should you say? Should we tell them how hard it is to raise funds right now? Should we tell them as many details as we can so they will understand? How much can we really tell them?
I believe we are in danger of losing credibility with our donors during these times of negative media on every issue of life. One of the main reasons why people give to a nonprofit or a ministry is to "be a part of something bigger than themselves". People desire to make a difference in a cause. They desire to be a part of God's work in YOUR ministry. In God's economy it is the steward who will be held accountable for all they have been given and what they do with it.
Penelope Burk has compiled some excellent research concerning donor attitudes during this season of discontent. She is now presenting the information in some seminars, but she has also made the information available on her website blog. (www.burksblog.com) In her blog she shares what some of her research participants stated. What is important to note is their attitudes. They expressed gratitude for what they had, and how they felt called to be more generous during these times.
Isn't that what the New Testament church was called to do? Those with much were generous so those with little had their needs met. How much more positive can we get than this?
So this is my challenge to you as you take your Ministry of Development to your donors who may be struggling, or feeling hopeless, or even negative: Generosity is the best way to turn your spirit to a positive direction!
- In your next Thank You letter for donations, speak of the gratitude and impact their giving represents.
- In your next appeal, make sure you let them know how God is still working in your ministry. Make it positive and encouraging.
- In your next face to face meeting with a donor, if they are discouraged by the economic situation, share some encouraging stories from the book of Acts. Remind them that God is still at work. Do not lecture, but encourage them!
- If you have a special event coming up, do not start by apologizing about the "e-word", but rather celebrate all that God has done and is still doing!
- At your next board meeting and report, along with the numbers, make sure you remind the board of God's continued impact on your work. If you are not in a ministry setting, remind your board that lives are still being touched.
Generosity, stewardship, and philanthropy all contribute to the common good of our communities, families, and our own lives. It is through this great community of causes that our country is the most generous of all time. Remind your donors of just how blessed we are. Through this realization we will start to look at the good in our own lives, our non-profits, and our ministries.
May this lift your spirits and your donors' spirits!