The evidence suggests that the religious segment of the donor class is alive and well and continues to give to organizations that “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8). In order to better cultivate and coordinate with religious donors, faith-based organizations must take the time to better understand their motivations, how they are giving, and the types of relationships they are looking to have with the nonprofits they support. Staff members at FBOs should reevaluate the saliency of their mission and vision and ensure that their values and convictions remain a prominent piece of their narrative and storytelling to donor communities.
When religious donors come to understand that they are part of a larger community and called to a global mission to care for others, they can become an even greater force for social, economic, and spiritual transformation. Faith-based organizations must continue to draw them into that vision and work alongside them to help communities begin to look a little more like the Kingdom that is to come.
Just like dating, donor relationships must be cultivated over time. During this “getting to know you” stage, prospective givers should be exposed to the problem, informed of the unique solutions and value offered by your organization, and empowered with the tools they need to feel good about their gift and reach their peers with your message as well. Development for faith-based organizations is particularly unique, and many rely heavily on churches and family foundations.
Nonprofit Quarterly defines a culture of philanthropy as “your organization’s attitude toward philanthropy and fund development (fundraising).” To build healthy cultures of philanthropy, nonprofits must recruit and retain quality development staff and empower them to lead within their organizations. To unleash the fundraising potential of your nonprofit, development professionals must be able to coordinate with other departments to share the nonprofit’s story as well as nurture relationships with church leaders and their congregants.
More great tools for fundraising and development success can be found through Mission Increase, a foundation that collaborates with givers to help Christian ministries grow and more fully achieve their God-given missions by offering teaching, coaching, consulting, and matching grants rooted in a biblical approach to fundraising – all at no cost to ministries. More information can be found at www.mif.org.