No one wants to talk about money, yet everyone needs it to fund their programs.
I think we need to open up a healthy dialogue about cultivating major donors.
I’m not talking about a marketing strategy for how to lure more “deep pockets” to your church or cause, or how to thank your big givers profusely but “quietly” enough that it keeps the floodgates open.
We have all been given a spiritual gift; some to preach, run a calm yet organized nursery, keep a building in good repair, recruit and retain amazing staff, listen well and provide good counsel, set up efficient databases, or a hundred other things. But what do we do with the people who just know how to make money and lots of it, and are passionate about giving it away for the good and benefit of others?
Historically, the Church has been great at helping nurture people with certain gifts like preaching, leading worship or administrating. But let’s face it, we typically don’t disciple those whose spiritual gift is a burgeoning bank account.
Big givers already know how to make money; we don’t need to coach them on that. But do they have a firm grasp of the biblical principles of stewardship and generosity? Are we giving them opportunities to exercise their spiritual muscle of discernment in giving, or are we just treating them like a piggy bank and expecting them to keep filling their account so we can keep tapping into it?
In the same way that you would cultivate any other spiritual gift, you ought to also be making disciples of your major partners and donors.
Here are some easy ways to get started:
1. Biblically affirm where their gift came from, whom it belongs to, and how it is to be used to bless God and others with it
2. Help them understand biblical principles of stewardship
3. Challenge them to grow their gift of discernment in spiritual giving
4. Give them opportunities to practice using their gift
5. Journey with them in setting goals and measuring achievement
6. Make disciples—encourage generosity veterans to identify and cultivate the next generation of givers/donors
7. Don’t keep it a secret—let them model their gift and inspire others!
You might also enjoy reading: