Private Grants Alert

Getting it Right for Successful Faith-Based Campaigns

Grant Guru is an occasional feature in which we answer questions from our readers about fundraising. It is part of our continuing effort to enhance our coverage. Dear Grant Guru: We work with faith-based causes and are generally turned off by fundraising practices that mimic the corporate world, such as highly polished campaigns. Can you put the word out there that this is a big problem? Grant Guru: Faith-based fundraisers should put aside the trendy telemarketing efforts, the unsolicited premiums and the commercial hard-sell in favor of low-key, sincere campaigns that will better connect with their audience. Try charm in your messaging. 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. --------------- Please Make Sure We Have Your Correct E-mail &...

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