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5 Tips to Make Fundraising Less Intimidating

5 Tips to Make Fundraising Less Intimidating

5 Tips to Make Fundraising Less Intimidating 1080 1080 Pam Hudson

“Fundraising is, first and foremost, a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission.” -Henri Nouwen

They say that public speaking is one of our greatest human fears. But there’s something else that ranks right up there—asking for money. It’s ok. We can admit it. Asking for money isn’t exactly what we signed up for when we joined SVdP. Most of us are willing to do anything to support the mission—EXCEPT for fundraising.

But there’s something I read a long time ago when I first entered this work that changed my perspective, and it may change yours too. It’s priest, writer and theologian Henri Nouwen’s essay on the “Spirituality of Fundraising.” National Chief Advancement Officer Ryan Carney shared a link to that little essay in this column a few weeks ago, but I’m guessing that most of us missed it. So if you haven’t read it and would like a copy, please email me sclancy@svdpaz.org and I will email it to you.

Nouwen helped me realize that I was thinking about fundraising all wrong. He reminds us that fundraising isn’t about asking for money, it’s about fostering relationships and deepening our faith. It’s about welcoming others into our work not as a means to an end but as an end in and of itself. As Nouwen states: Fundraising is a very rich and beautiful activity. It is a confident, joyful, and hope-filled expression of ministry. In ministering to each other, each from the riches that he or she possesses, we work together for the full coming of God’s Kingdom.

So, how can we make fundraising less intimidating and more impactful?

1. Share Our Passion: Let’s start by sharing our passion for SVdP’s mission—why we got involved, what stories have touched us, and the differences we’ve seen firsthand. When others witness our enthusiasm, they’ll want to be part of it too.

2. Tell Stories: Stories are powerful. They connect us on a human level and show the concrete impact of our work. Sharing stories of individuals or families whose lives have been transformed through SVdP’s support remind us why our fundraising efforts and our work together matter.

3. Build Relationships: Fundraising is all about relationships. Take the time to connect with potential donors or supporters. Listen to their stories and perspectives. Show them how their contributions can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Invite them to be part of our mission.

4. Faith Over Fear: Yes, fundraising can at times seem intimidating. But this isn’t OUR work, this is GOD’S work. Our mission is worthy, and it calls us not only to serve others but also to invite others to serve alongside us. Let’s trust in the generosity of others and in God’s grace to guide us.

5. Celebrate with Gratitude: When we receive gifts to support our work, what a joy it is to express our gratitude—both to the donors who partnered with us and to God who makes all things possible. When we share the impact of the gifts that others have made, we give them an opportunity to share in our work and foster the sense of joy, connection, and belonging that make our work so rich and beautiful.

Let’s let our faith be bigger than our fear. Let’s invite others into our work with courage and conviction. Let’s remember that one of the best fundraisers was Vincent himself who connected those in need of help with those who could offer support on the common ground of God’s love. May each of us continue to carry on Vincent’s legacy…


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