by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist
When we look at the ministry of development we are taught time and again that we are to see those who support us financially not simply as donors but as financial partners. This is true. We are in fact, to truly love those who choose to make our ministry or organization a financial priority in their lives.
This month then, let's ask a pertinent question that is bigger than capital campaigns, major donor development, or creating a perfect event.
In addition, let's consider a question larger than all of the words we use to describe development, such as "friend raising," and "building partnerships."
The question is a simple one for those of us in development: "What's love got to do with it?"
If we answer this question well, we will transform our fundraising initiatives. The reasons, just like the question above, are simple:
First, love is the key component to any strong relationship. Whether that relationship is a spouse, a good friend or a family member, love creates the foundation that takes a relationship through trials and struggles. And, love makes the good times even better.
Second, love shifts our focus away from "getting funds" and toward building an unshakeable foundation based on building these relationships. As we build relationships the funds will generally follow. And even if funds may not follow in some instances, we know our ministry is in the middle of God's will. Why?
Those development plans built on relationships are focused on eternal, not temporal, treasures. If we are always looking to the eternal, we never have to doubt whether we are in God's will. With that confidence, we will be less concerned when funding doesn't seem to be as strong.
So what does love have to do with our development plan? Everything. This month, let's consider what love looks like as we build relationships with those who support us.
Those on our support team are actually our volunteers, our heartbeat . . . And our brothers and sisters. Let's love them as we would ourselves.