7 Steps to Fundraising for your Action Sports Ministry

Published by Jonny Nelson on

7 Steps to Fundraising for your Action Sports Ministry

Quite often I am asked about how to fund raise and honestly, I don’t think I am that great of a fundraiser. Fundraising has actually been one of my least favorite aspects of ministry, and I am sure many other people agree. However, God has given me a variety of experience over the past 10 years, and a lot of it relates to fundraising.

So, I’d like to share the 7 fundraising steps that my team and I follow for the action sports ministry, JSAW.

1) Pray
Yes, start with prayer. It might seem obvious to start here but if you’ve ever had vision for something, you know how easy it is to get distracted in the very beginning. Pray for three main things: 1. That you would be content and satisfied in Christ, trusting Him for each and every need, 2. That God would bring clarity through the coming opportunities, and 3. Pray for the relationships with your current and future partners. Include prayer throughout the entire fundraising process – pray before every phone call, meeting, and sent letter.

2) Do Ministry
Being actively involved with your ministry is where genuine passion and vision are built. You will know the ministry fully; how it is growing, how it is impacting other, and what it’s most prevalent needs are. Don’t raise money to start a ministry, raise money to fund an already existent and growing ministry.

3) Make a List of 10
Start a list of 10 or more people, and not just your 10 richest. Include your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues, parents, neighbors, pastors and even your dentist. Make a column for first name, last name, address, city, state, zip, phone, email, and notes. Be diligent about filling each column for each person, and don’t be afraid to ask for their information.

4) Send a Letter
Write a letter that is genuine, powerful, and short.Try to hand address these letters to help ensure that it gets opened – people value getting mail with a personal touch. First, introduce yourself and your ministry – just the facts. This should be a concise sentence or two and should include your Mission Statement. Second, tell a personal story showing why this ministry exists. Share your heart, but don’t ramble ( 5-6 sentences). Third, write about your financial need, including exactly how much money is needed. Finally, share about your desire to meet with them and include your personal contact information.

5) Follow Up with a Phone Call
About a week after you send your fundraising letter, follow up with a phone call. Yes, call. Not text, not email. If you get a voice mail, feel free to leave a short message but do not discuss everything on their answering machine. When you do get a hold of the person, ask if they received your letter. This call is about determining a meeting time, not about asking for a donation. Very clearly ask for a specific time and place to meet. If the person is unsure, offer to call them back. Remember, setting up this meeting is your responsibility and will require some persistence. Commit to following up if a meeting has not been set.

6) Meet and Ask
Know that this meeting is not all about your ministry and it’s needs. Take interest in the other person’s life and passions. Donors are partners in your ministry alongside you, so building a healthy relationship is vital. When you do talk about your ministry, tell stories and share your passion with them. Bring facts and numbers to share, and ask for their input. Then, be sure to ask. Like in your letter, state the ministry’s exact financial need. Ask if they would be able to make a donation today, or if they would be willing to commit to donating monthly. Be gracious and thankful no matter what their response is. Also, take some time to grow your network by asking if they know anyone who might have a passion for this type of ministry.

7) Follow Up and Thank
Whether your contact gives or not, continue to grow the relationship. Make sure to follow up, thanking them for their time and funding if they committed to give. From here, it is important to include your donors in the ministry. Send them hand written thank you cards with exciting stories about how their donation has impacted the ministry. Continue to update them on the ministry as time goes on, and meet with them again after a month or two.

Fundraising will bring you to the feet of Jesus. It forces us to depend on Christ more. It takes hard work, persistence, and consistency. It is humbling and encouraging.

As you put yourself and your passion in front of others, always remember: 1) God loves you, 2) God has the power to give you anything in the world and 3) God will give you exactly what you need.

Fund raise!
Let me know what you think of this article.
Comment with questions and share your own insight!

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