More and more these days I see the drive of individuals in the fund-raising world to create the perfect pitch to lure from the wallets of unsuspecting listeners, viewers and readers a gift to whatever charity has hired them to perform.
Fund raising professionals evaluate their associates on this fine skill of manipulation – sorry – I mean, power of suggestion.
Since I myself have been in such a profession for the past 25 years, I have seen and watched this scene take place over and over again.
I just sent out an appeal to some of our constituents – poor timing really – end of August is no-man’s land for an appeal through the mail but the needs are so pressing, the leadership team felt they had no other option.
I felt proud of them for only one reason – they allowed me to write the way I have always written – asking for the willing gift to be made, no pressure, just a simple ask with lots of reminders of why it matters that our supporters find that what we do in missions matters.
My guess is rather simple – I or should I say we will be let down. It seems superfluous but my disappointment will not be easy to hide. Poor timing of the ask, not enough relationship skills with the missions to expect much more, have me and my team praying for a miracle – that God would step into the picture and ask someone to make a special gift – not one that we deserve, but because He cares.
Since I am new at the mission, I know my task is to provide a healthier venue for relationships and expectations. Once the message has been delivered and understood I can expect more and not be so embarrassed that so few individuals care.
I would love to boast that our supporters promise to step up when it really matters and deliver what they promise. What an embarrassment to go to the leadership team and tell them that we, the mission, do not matter.
May we all remember that a willing gifts tells the story of our ministry just as a mirror shares our reflection. To hide from the truth through any other form of deception, manipulation, suggestion, coercion or bribery just delays the inevitable. May we refrain from such tactics and wait, develop, create, sustain and ensure a healthy relationship with our supporters so that when the time comes for a gift that it comes willingly and with love – it matters.
- Seven Anxieties about Asking for Money And What to Do about Them (trust.guidestar.org)