Missionary Fundraising: How to be Effective and Biblical
Most missionaries hate the experience of raising funds; often they feel uncomfortable asking people for money. Many of us feel inferior when we approach someone to support our missionary work. This feeling is understandable but not biblical. God has chosen that the world will hear about Him through evangelism, an act that so many people see as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:20), but we know that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (v. 21), and the only way to fulfill the great commission is by having people donating to you and your cause. That’s why the Bible says “Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” 3 John 8.
Saying all this, it is important for missionaries to understand how to raise support and automate the process to save time effectively.
1) Be transparent in your needs.
Donors are your friends and family, not your enemies. Share with them exactly what you need, or expect to need, and how much it will cost to do the work you are going to do. Give them a breakdown of all your expenses, whether it’s a one-time need or a monthly need.
Don’t be afraid if the number ends up being big. Donors understand that doing missions can be expensive and resources are required to carry out your mission; they just want you to be transparent. Transparency builds trust between you and your donor and gives glory to God.
2) Provide constant updates.
This is the biggest mistake that most missionaries fall into. It is very rude to contact your donors only when you need their money! They are not obligated to support you, but rather they have chosen to support you from among all the other missionaries they could’ve contributed to help. Keep your donors involved in your ministry and in your personal life, give them things to pray for and challenge them with stories from the field. Don’t fear to share your struggles and failures with them just as you share your success–after all, we are all human, and life is not always a success.
Help them to see what God is doing in you and through you, and use your life to transform their lives for the Gospel.
We encourage our missionaries to either start a blog or a website and always keep posting on it. Be sure to include all your donors’ emails in your list, so they can receive your updates when you post them. Wix.com is one of the easiest website platforms to use; it is secure and reasonably priced.
If you live in highly restricted areas and you can’t post updates online, be sure to send regular private newsletters to your donors with pictures and, if possible, some personal videos. Some of the most famous newsletter emailing services are MailChimp, Constant Contacts, and Send Grid
3) Provide donors with an easy to use donation system with multiple payment methods.
Online giving is one of the greatest tools available to raise support in the 21st century, but Christian workers often miss. Online giving is a handy tool that helps your donors give securely and efficiently. In Mission Quest, we have seen an income growth of 33% for missionaries who gave their donors the ability to donate online versus missionaries that only receive donations via check.
On the other hand, the online donation system can be a hindrance for many missionaries. This is often because many of them don’t have the technical knowledge to set up an online donation system with all the technical and legal work involved or because the system that they have in place is very complicated and expensive. That’s where we can help. Mission Quest has already put together a cutting edge technology platform that is specifically designed for missionaries and their donors. Our system is very easy to use, secure and provides donors the ability to do a one-time or a recurring donation. Joel Adams is one of our donors, and he said when reflecting on his giving experience with Mission Quest:
“The donation process is very convenient, and I’ve never heard of any problems once I’ve deposited our gift! The website and information are easy to navigate, and the interface is simple and intuitive. For any missionaries looking for an easy and reliable way to manage financial gifts, this is the way to go!”
We have been helping our missionaries for years, and we would love to help you. If you are interested in learning more about us, please contact us.
4) Have a trustworthy home office that will do the work for you.
Raising support is not only about finding donors and receiving funds but also about having a home office that you trust to take care of you and your donors. There are so many loose ends when it comes to receiving donations, such as which credit card company should you use? Will your donors receive receipts for their donations? What if they want to update their credit card information? Who will send them an end of the year statements? What if they have questions about you or their giving history? There is so much more to raising support than finding donors, and attending to all these loose ends is frustrating and most likely will cripple you from fulfilling your call.
As a missionary service agency, we take care of all of that on your behalf. Immediately after their one-time donation or a monthly pledge, our system emails your donor a receipt for their donation. We also send them an end of year statement. But most importantly, we provide them with the technical support they need and answer all of their inquiries on your behalf. To read more about how we can serve you, read what we do. Our missionaries have been very satisfied with the ministry we serve them with, and we always seek to exceed their expectations. Read more about their experience with us on our testimonial page.
Do not waste your time on technical and administrative work. Instead, focus on serving the Lord in His field. Let us take the responsibility of the admin work off your shoulders so that you can preach the Gospel to the lost. We are a missionary service agency that was established by missionaries for missionaries to the praise and glory of God.