Fundraising Attitude Check

Fundraising… A necessary evil?

We frequently hear ministry leaders talking in terms of “fundraising” taking time from “ministry.” But this kind of expression reflects a serious error in our thinking. Fundraising is ministry — not separate from it — and in no way is fundraising a “necessary evil.”

Jesus was adamant about connecting people to God, and correspondingly obdurate about anyone or thing that confused or interrupted the connection. We see a prime example of this in His explosion with the merchants in the temple. There, in a place intended for connecting people to God, the merchants had turned the God-connection into an empty tradition. The sacrifices were intended to express people’s penitence before, and devotion to, God. To rear an animal for sacrifice took time and care. But here was a fast-food version: whip through the process, don’t think about God until the last minute, show up, pay a fee, and you’re out.

This was not the relationship, the connection, that God longed for. The “marketers” may have started out with honorable intentions — desiring to facilitate worship. But Jesus could see their hearts, and by this point they had clearly become opportunists, taking advantage of people’s need for a God-connection and siphoning off something for themselves.

We are all a part of His body, and each has a significant role to play in preserving health and balance in the body.  Fundraising ministry is simply assisting others in discerning if their part in the body is partnership with your place of ministry, through provision of resources.

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, More Than Money: The Truth About High-Capacity Givers.

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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2 Responses to Fundraising Attitude Check

  1. Why would you call fundraising an evil – albeit a neccesary one. Charitable works need support and perhaps as early as the New Testament, Paul raised money for the causes he felt important.

    • Gary Coiro says:

      Sorry for the confusion… A typical American slang phrase is “necessary evil” – not at all intended to denote an evil practice. Even so, a careful read will show that I am not calling it an evil, but arguing that it is NOT an evil. Perhaps the intent of the post is lost in Cultural translation. Summary, I endorse doing fundraising as a relationally based value add invitation for people to exercise their part of/in the body of Christ.

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