Where there is no guidance, a nation falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 (NRSV)
The wisdom of many counselors, as the Bible tells us, can be a good thing. All that counsel will be especially helpful when it boils down to some very simple ideas.
Every organization that I know of that is not fully endowed—every church, every ministry—wants to bring in more money. Much is written about increasing revenue and donations, as it should. But, actually, there are only two ways to do so:
- Get more customers or donors.
- Generate more revenue or giving per donor.
There is only one way to get more donors:
- Make sure you add more donors than you lose.
And finally, there are only two ways to generate more giving per donor:
- Increase the average gift.
- Increase the frequency of the gifts.
These principles comprise all the knowledge and counsel you will ever get about increasing funding. The reason why it’s important to keep these ideas in mind is so you can test every idea, plan and program against them. If you cannot see and measure how what you or one of your counselors wants to do will get more customers or donors (net), or how it will generate more revenue per customer, then you’d better think of something else. Sounds easy? It’s not. But it is simple.
Future posts will unpack these ideas. Would love to know your reactions, and especially why you think it’s more complicated than what I’ve explained.