Friday, March 6, 2015

Not a Viral Blog: Doing the Details of Fund Raising

I am vain enough to love it when a blog of mine goes viral (well viral for someone like me who is not famous or cute as a puppy or baby). Last week over 400 people read a post of mine in a couple of hours. People retweeted it. It tempts me to write controversial, outrageous things about College Ministry. But, it is usually the more everyday kind of stuff that helps, benefits and grows our College Ministries. All that to say, this is just some details and reminders about fund raising.

If you do College Ministry, you have to be into fund raising...accept it and get on with it. You need a budget or you need a salary or you need more budget. Or, you want to keep the budget you have. So, here are some details that go with those realities.

1. Write thank you notes and letters. Yes; I've said this before and I will keep saying it. Be grateful. Let them know you got it and it matters. Why should I send money to you, if it doesn't matter?

2. If someone sends you money in honor or in memory of someone, let that person honored or the family of the one memorialized know of the gift. Send them the name and address of the person who gave the gift. That way, they can send a thank you, if they choose to do so. But, they know they or their loved one has been honored. Don't tell them how much was given. On occasion, I have said, "a very generous gift was given in memory of...". But, that could be said every time.

3. At the end of the year, send a receipt for tax purposes, if your ministry is a legal tax deductible organization. The law says you only must do so if the gift equals or exceeds an amount ($250, I think). BUT, I disagree. I believe in sending a receipt for tax purposes regardless of the amount. Again, it shows you are grateful. It may serve as a reminder to them of a gift that they might not remember for tax purposes. And, it reminds them about giving to your ministry.

4. Two or three times a year send a "Friends Letter" telling what is going on in your ministry. Your friends list should include those who have given or helped your ministry in some significant way. It doesn't have to be personal. It can just say, "Dear Friends, I just wanted to let you know some things that are happening". Thank You's are personal...Friends Information letters don't have to be.

5. A Crazy Idea: DON'T include a return envelope in every Friends Letter. The purpose of a Friend letter is information for appreciation and prayer.

6. YES; I do believe in donors getting something at least once a year with a return envelope in it. My experience is the best time for those is toward the end of the year. But, I have seen those envelopes come back for months. People stick them somewhere as a
reminder to give at a future time.

Be grateful to people, churches and organizations that give to you or your ministry. Don't take it for granted. Keep being grateful if they stop giving...maybe their circumstances have changed. Don't assume it means they don't care. And don't let them think you only cared about them when they gave.

I know this is the greatest blog you have ever read and you want to retweet it immediately!

PS: I capitalize College Ministry because all important titles are capitalized. It is not dr. is Dr. Jones.

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