Stewardship Campaign: Treasure is where the Heart is…

My church launched its annual stewardship campaign not too long ago.

The stewardship campaign  is a time when every member of the parish is asked to reflect on their individual time, talent and treasure and determine they can give back through one of these gifts.

While we’re supposed to reflect on all of our three resources of time, talent and treasure  – stewardship campaigns eventually turn into fundraising drives, because at the end of the day, churches – just like other nonprofits – need MONEY to pay for programs, salaries, rent, operations, etc.

Let’s not begrudge the fact that treasure trumps time and talent – let’s simply become better fundraisers so that a person’s time and talent can become just as important as someone else’s treasure!

So how do we ensure that our stewardship and fundraising campaigns are a success? And not simply boil down to a fundraiser with fancy name, logos and taglines?

The missing component? PASSION! Fundraising must be about tapping into a person’s PASSION for a particular cause. Not tapping into their wallet but reaching into their heart and drawing them into your mission.

It doesn’t matter what the cause is – feeding the poor, finding alternative sources of energy, or healing broken hearts. PASSION is the underpinning of all philanthropy.

Thus, a first step for all fundraisers is to LEARN what makes their donors feel great! Find out what fuels their passion? Get into their hearts and make them feel as though they are part of something bigger than themselves.

  • Why are they excited about our work?
  • What makes their hearts’ sing?
  • What inspires them to be more generous?

In the for-profit sector, we conduct in-depth market research to understand what people want, how they want it, when, and why. I believe we need similar analyses of donor motivation in the charitable sector. To truly learn what motivates people to not just give, but to feel part of something – to become a true advocate of a cause or mission in life.

Money for Good:

The U.S. Market for Impact Investments and Charitable Gifts from Individual Donors and Investors by Hope Consulting is a great start. Check out this excellent report to learn more about what motivates donors and use this information to segment your database and create relevant communications, activities, and events that inspire more giving.

Here’s the point:

Don’t fly blind when it comes to understanding why your donors give and what their are passionate about. Don’t assume you know them. Instead, ASK and LISTEN to your donor’s concerns, wants, interests and fill your conversation with their PASSION!

Happy Fundraising!