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Jan 03

Why Should I Give to Your Ministry?

Posted by: Steve Marr

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Like many, I received many year-end donation requests from ministries.  Some came by mail; most by email. Many of the organizations I knew nothing about. Nor did I know anyone that worked there. There were several I had never heard from since their year-end appeal in 2017.

I was reminded of the classic advertisement called “The Man in the Chair” which I’ve shared below. This advertisement tries to show how difficult it is for someone to walk in cold and try to sell a service or product to a businessperson who has no prior information about what you do, sell, or who you represent. Likewise developing relationships, ministry partnerships and a base for financial support is not something that occurs through one or two emails.




I would like to take the statements from the advertisement and apply them to ministry fundraising.

  • I don’t know who you are.

Many who ask for funding are people I’ve never met, communicated with or have any previous information about.


  • I don’t know your company.

In many instances I’ve never heard of the ministry or organization.  Why should anyone write a check or give online to a ministry they’ve never heard of?


  • I don’t know your company’s product

In most cases, I have no idea what the unique service proposition is for the ministry requesting funds. I don’t know what they do better than others, or what the compelling reason to donate to them other than the organization needs funds.


  • I don’t know what your company stands for.

For ministries, this means that I don’t know the doctrinal perspective of the organization.  I don’t know if they take political stances or not. I do not understand how they are different from other ministries and organizations.


  • I don’t know your company’s customers.

I don’t know who the organization serves.  I don’t understand how they make decisions about who is served.  I don’t know how the ministry creates a transformation experience among beneficiaries of the ministry.


  • I don’t know your company’s record.

I usually have no idea how the ministry defines success. I don’t understand how they measure transformation. For example, do they measure success by the number of meals they serve to hungry people? Or do they measure medical visits or how many make a profession of faith?


  • I don’t know your company’s reputation.

Since we live in a time when issues frequently surface regarding moral and financial integrity of ministries, it means that constituents want to contribute to organizations that maintain a sterling reputation and documents where funds are spent.  Ministries today must have sound personal accountability.


  • Now what is it you wanted to sell me?

For ministry donation requests, the question becomes, Now why should I send you a check?  If the answer is “I don’t have enough information,” keep your checkbook closed until you get answers.

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