In a word, donors care about passion. Your passion. Their passion.
Givers want to know and feel your passion. They experience your passion when they see how you are serving. And how your serving matches your words. When it comes to giving, it’s a good thing that givers know that you give, too. Conventions around privacy limit what we can be comfortable sharing about our own giving, but the Bible helps us out by teaching about tithing—code for a level of giving that is challenging for sure, but historically and culturally meaningful and understood by most as a level that will stretch most budgets and bless the giver as well as the receiver.
Donors care even more about their own passion. Donors are compelled to believe that the causes they support with their hard-earned cash are worthy. What builds donor passion? Donor experiences.
The latest thinking in fundraising pulls together generally accepted and commonly understood knowledge about donor motivation into a cogent body of facts and principles called Donor Experience Management, or DXM. More about this in future posts.
There is no better way for ministry leaders to build donor passion that by offering them experiences that bring them closer to the objects of their stewardship and generosity. While serving as a volunteer executive leader for a leading prison ministry, I spent a day at the country’s largest federal prison for women participating in a rally, praying with inmates, and just watching Christ at work. Over eight years of involvement with that ministry, there was nothing that came close to that experience for building my passion and alignment with the mission of that group.
Later, as an executive with a ministry to military members and families, I spent an hour one Sunday morning at one of the US Armed Forces basic training centers participating in a Gospel presentation by one of our staff members. As the trainees filed out when the session was over, I stood and shook hands, gave hugs, and said thanks while several hugged back and left a wet spot on my shirt where their tears of gratitude and joy left a thank you note. Seven years of experiences with that ministry all boil down to that one wet spot as a tangible memory of my passion for the cause.
What can you do as a ministry leader to encourage life-changing experiences for your givers?