TO: Interested Ministries
Bramer, Retired Auditor- CPA
RE: Fund Gathering/Raising Perspective Originated: February 1997
Below is a transcript of another hypothetical Online conversation, or THRD, between Jim@bcidot.org and members of a M)inistry F)inance Team - MFTeam: the MFTeam members consist of PAT (Ministry Executive), LEE (Volunteer Board Treasurer), and FRAN (Ministry Computer Bookkeeper). Click here and go to List of threads (THRDs) at www.bcidot.org
I really appreciate these THRDs, Jim ... please keep them coming!! A topic that you have NOT covered up to this point is FUND RAISING. Give me some of your perspective on this vital topic.
You are right, Pat .... I prefer the term "FUND GATHERING" to "FUND RAISING", because that is what is really happening, and it's a topic that many MFTeam members are not too comfortable with.
Before you go too much farther, let me remind you of a few things, Jim. Our Ministry is under $900,000 annual income and we operate ------
- Church Ministry;
- School (P-12) Ministry;
- Radio Program ...
- Plus we operate a year round Camp/Conference Center.
So you can see, we are not large but multi-faceted; our annual report shows the following ratio of revenue types:
It seems to me that finance people do well with handling finances after they 'hit the door', but as you can see we need to prayerfully "RAISE" towards half of our annual income from the Public and our Church.
So I guess, Jim, my heart is heavy because so much of this FUND RAISING in expected of me as the higher profiled 'mover and shaker' of this Ministry. Yes, I need to do my part, but it would seem that it is NOT that God-honoring to have it be so one person focused.
Any comments, Jim?
Thanx for sharing, Pat.
I believe I understand ...... as one of our sons has been on the Mission field and one of his gravest concerns was 'asking people for money'; but the Lord provided! The MFTeam has financial resource responsibilities; it needs to do its prayerful part in:
G E T T I N G
P R E S E R V I N G
U T I L I Z I N G
With regard to the "GETTING" from the Christian public, we pragmatic MFTeam-ers would probably feel better 'turning it over to the experts'. As you know there are a number of very respectable Fund Raising firms out there.
From your view, Jim, just exactly how should the MFTeam meet its "GETTING" responsibilities?
As your profile above demonstrated, Pat, the income of Ministries is divided between EARNED INCOME AND PUBLIC/Member DONATIONS:
First, let me know if would like more info with regard to the above Earned Income. Obviously, realistic fees (including school tuition) need to be charged so that all operating costs will be covered. Few Schools and Camps rely on Donations to meet operating expenditures. Special projects might be funded by Donations.
The major MFTeam concern here is that too much of such fees are NOT collected; especially at Schools. Please Go Here for School Acct Receivable management and collection available.
It is foundational that a Ministry 'spell out' in writing its Fund Gathering (Raising) philosophy and strategies. When the Board concludes corporate answers to the questions below, you go a long way to having such policies in writing.
The Lord is the source of all the Ministry's money and financial
assets and they all belong to Him; we are his stewards, or trustees,
over funds entrusted to us by our constituents and the Lord will
ultimately hold us responsible for their use.
We are a part of His ministry and the Lord is not poor. He will
supply the financial needs of His endeavors. We should tell ONLY
the Lord of the Ministry's financial needs and NOT communicate
such needs, by spoken or written word, to others.
We adhere wholeheartedly to the above items 1> and 2>. We can,
however, be used as the Lord's vehicle to inform others of various
financial needs in the Ministry. We should use every discrete
means at our disposal to make the needs known.
"Hardsell" at it's extreme would be a "1" and is defined as "always
asking for money; "softsell" at it's extreme is a "10" and is defined
as "never asking people for money." Our desire is to be perceived
by our constituents as a number - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - _______
Since the Lord owns everything, we believe that funds should
be gathered from all sources; Christian and non-Christian. This
includes all types of interested Foundations.
We desire to make mailings to people. We want to convey
"non-financial appeal" news and make financial needs known to all
constituents via the mail. The approximate number of times during
the year that we expect to mail out financial appeals are: -- - - - - - -
When appropriate, we will make use of Fund Raising
"Yes" or "No" answers to the following statements should provide the needed Fund Gathering answers to the Church Board of Leadership.
We have concluded our Fund Gathering philosophy in
a separate document.
We will teach our people Righteous Personal Finance
so they can give to the church as part of their overall
We will annually conclude if there is to be a Sunday
whereby these matters should be emphasized.
Our people are expected to tithe in principle.
Our people are expected to formally pledge their
annual commitment in writing.
Our emphasis is to have the Church operation funded
by the current constituency ... NOT by any of the
non-church areas of our Ministry, or by deceased
We will NOT allow any fund raising effort that might
be construed as gambling.
We wish you good Fund Raising .... whoops ... I intended to say Fund Gathering.
The bulk of this Publication originated in February 1997 and was UPTD: January 03, 2010
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(1) An Online Document, or WRIT (Writing), may be applicable to all Ministries, or it may be designed for just groups like: Evangelical Church, School, Missionary Agency or Organization, Christian Camp / Conference, or other named group.
(2) WRIT formats include the perspective of Jim@bcidot.org via IOMs (Inter-Office Memos) to the Ministry Finance Team (MFTeam); THRDs, a hypothetical Online conversation with members of the MFTeam; GLEANINGS, or Scripture within context of the MFTeam; FWIW; A periodic editorial (For What it is Worth); TRUISM, or believed Ministry Finance principles; and via FAQ, response to Frequently Asked Questions