Over the years at ARC I have seen some successful as well as some not so successful approaches to fundraising. Here are a few quick tips if you are looking to raise money for a church plant.
Mistakes Church Planters Make with Fundraising
The biggest mistake people make is not making the ask at all. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to give to something you know is going to be good for the people you are reaching as well as well the person who is giving. It’s better to assume that people want to have the opportunity to be a blessing and are looking for an opportunity to be a part of what God is doing.
The second mistake is making too strong of an ask. This can happen in multiple ways. One way is by asking someone for money who you do not have any relational equity with. You start fundraising, not with a meeting when you give a pitch, but by genuine relationship long before you make an ask. You may not always have that opportunity for long term relationship though. In this situation you want to make sure that you ask them to pray about getting involved instead of asking for money the first time you meet with them.
The key to overcoming both of these mistakes of being too shy or too bold is to not make it about you. Make fundraising about the people you are reaching and the person who is having a chance to get involved with what God is doing.
Practical Steps to Fundraising Well
- Prepare for a fundraising meeting by finding out about the person you are meeting with.
- Start the meeting by asking questions about them and their vision. This way you can better connect your vision to what they are already passionate about.
- Share your needs, but also share your vision, and your practical plan for sustainability. How are you going to get a return on their investment?
- It’s always good to follow up and thank the person for their time with a personal note.
- Being authentic and truly caring for each person you come into contact with may be the best fundraising strategy you can employ.
Most pastors don’t get into church planting because they are passionate about fundraising. They step out in faith out of a love for God and people. I think we should keep these two things in front of us when fundraising. God is our source, and fundraising for a church plant is just one more way we can learn to lean on Him more.
If you would like to find out more about starting a new church with ARC, we’d love for you to connect with us. Please go to arcchurches.com and click “start a church.” We have some free resources available to you just for reaching out
*This article first appeared as a contribution in the ARC Magazine.