Want to inspire your donors to generosity? Part 1 of 3

Discover the top 3 secrets of $100 million organizations

Why do some non-profit organizations thrive, and others don’t?

Some grow quickly and naturally, exceeding both ministry and financial goals. But others struggle, never reaching their potential. Worse, these underperformers often get trapped in endless cycles of reevaluation, reorganization and rebranding — going nowhere.

In 36 years of fundraising — as VP of Marketing at World Vision and President of Masterworks — I’ve studied dozens of non-profits, mostly Christian ministries. I’ve worked directly with their leaders, reviewed their ministry operations and audited their fundraising programs.

I’ve learned that the most successful organizations — the ones that have reached the $100 million annual income level — all have discovered 3 generosity-inspiring secrets.

  • They hold a high view of fundraising.
  • They build integrated and collaborative management teams.
  • They place a high value on innovation.

While income may not be the only measurement of success, it is an indication that the organization is thriving, maximizing Kingdom impact, and growing rapidly.

Even if $100 million is not an appropriate goal for your organization, these 3 secrets can help you make your fundraising more effective — and overcome barriers to growth.

GENEROSITY-INSPIRING SECRET #1: They hold a high view of fundraising.

At most Christian ministries, you’ll rightly find a passionate focus on the mission. But, far too often, that focus goes hand in hand with a blind spot when it comes to fundraising.

Far too many Christian organizations view fundraising as a necessary evil, and treat donors as an afterthought. But, organizations that make it to $100 million do so because they place as much value on fundraising as they do on ministry.

They realize that the mission of the organization will not be realized without the money to make it happen. The two go hand in hand.

In fact, the most successful organizations realize a simple, but profound truth: Fundraising IS ministry.

Christians are called to be generous. Every time you communicate with your donors you have the opportunity to minister to them. You can impart hope — hope that they can do something meaningful to change the world.

“The most successful organizations realize a simple, but profound truth: Fundraising IS ministry.”

And, every time you talk to your donors you can impart courage — the courage to be generous.

Good fundraising is actually stirring up your donors to do good works. Once you view fundraising as ministry, you begin to value your donors more highly. And you will begin to more highly value your staff members engaged in fundraising, too.

And, when you practice fundraising as ministry, you will inspire your donors to fulfill what God calls them to do. You will inspire them to be generous.

Stayed tuned: Secret #2 coming soon

Look for my next blog post on the next generosity-inspiring secret of $100 million organizations: They build integrated and collaborative management teams.