Children and Youth Funding Report

Sincere Approach is Key to Faith-based Fundraising Campaigns

Funders who are sympathetic to faith-based causes are generally turned off by fundraising practices that mimic the corporate world, such as highly-polished direct mail campaigns or multiple or duplicated appeals in a short period of time. Faith-based fundraisers should put aside the trendy telemarketing efforts, the unsolicited premiums and the commercial hard-sell in favor of a low-key, sincere campaign that will better connect with their audience, according to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) . EFCA is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries and faith-based organizations improve fundraising and accountability. Six tips that can inject charm and earnestness into the message. Thank your donors. Too often ministries are so busy raising the next dollar, they forget to appropriately thank donors for their last gift. Ministry policies may require you to provide a receipt for gifts received. But you should go beyond that. "Thank you" means finding appropriate ways to let major donors know about the impact of their work, whether that means a personal note from field staff or an invitation to visit the project and the people it helps first hand. One survey reported 40% of donors said that a great thank you letter alone had the power to influence their next gift; 85% would give again if a leadership volunteer called them to acknowledge their support. Better reporting of ministry outcomes. Many donors expect much more than just a good story. Outcome reporting is hard work. It requires intentional planning for the collection of data -- often from remote locations half way around the world. However, EFCA surveys have shown that donors have positively responded to periodic reporting -- including comparative data by time periods -- of gospel presentations, decisions for Christ, discipleship and church integration, with more detailed breakdowns in each category. Watch out for outcomes that are "too good to be true." If claims of ministry outcomes stretch a donor's imagination, it is generally wise to communicate the basis for the data or statements. Even though the information may be completely truthful, if a donor finds it hard to believe, the decision of whether or not to give could be impacted. For example, what if a ministry claims...

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