donor vs. ministry

Katya over at Network for Good was inspired by the same video we were — you may have seen it — the one where Microsoft shows how consumers are evolving and advertisers are not necessarily keeping up? If you haven’t it’s worth a watch. You can see it here. (By the way, if you haven’t checked out Katya’s blog, it’s got some terrific fundraising and marketing advice. Definitely worth a regular read!)

Network for Good then took this concept and did something brilliant — they put a donor into the consumer role and a fundraiser into the advertiser role and they produced this video.

We have several points to ponder here:

1. When you watch this video, do you see yourself in the role of fundraiser? Have you ever sat in the donor chair? Is your ministry adapting to the changing expectations of the ever-discerning donors? How is this video different from the Microsoft video?

2. What would be different if this video were donor vs. ministry? What’s different in the realm of fundraising for Christian ministries that is not present in this video?

3. When we first saw the Microsoft video, we said that we “ought to do something like that for our niche.” Did we? No. Got swept away into the busyness of work and life and missed out on the great idea…that someone else grabbed and ran with. Does this ever happen to you? Do you fail to capitalize on a great idea because you’re “too busy”?

Lots to ponder. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Kris Hoots
Partner, Oneicity

Kris Hoots

Kris Hoots

5 thoughts on “donor vs. ministry”

  1. Our marketing group is already talking about this video today. Just a great simple message. So at the end – how can you get to know your donors if you only have an email address. One of the sites you referenced shared a survey sample to send to your email donors. I have thought about this for 2 years. Awhile ago I made the sample survey questions but just never hit the publish button. We really need to do this if we want their input on how they want to be involved. It would be great to know that these donors don’t want to hear about the men’s shelter – they want to hear about how they can help the babies in Philly or Heritage Home. Thanks for the inspiration and keeping us accountable. As you say – we just get so busy.

  2. @Carol We should have known you and your team would already be watching these videos. It’s inspiring how you are constantly watching what others are doing and helping your team learn. Did you talk at all about the difference between ministry and fundraiser?

    One thing we talked about today is that ministries are really a conduit to connect their donors to the people they serve. And that many of those donors feel called to support the ministries.

  3. Hi Kris – Corrie and I talked over your questions today. We try to give donors opportunities to engage with the people that come to our door by either volunteering at our centers or letting them do a home visit to deliver a food box. But that is a small percentage. The other point is that our fundraisers are not just here to ask donors for finacial gifts – we are here to minister to them too. They have personal needs. So we listen, pray, and help them on their personal journeyes. In our thank you Easter cards (handwritten) we asked donors if we could pray for them and their families – we have several back and have placed them on a prayer wall for all of our employees to cover them with prayer. In this economy, our donors are facing hardships too. CityTeam is a group of people that care about other people -they could be clients, volunteers, or donors. At the end of the day – people want to know that other people care about them. We have thousands of individual relationships but there are so many more that we don’t know personally yet!

  4. This really reinforces what we are learning from Mission Increase Foundation. It is so hard to flip the switch and not be “self-focused.” What should be different in Christian ministries is faith, that “God will supply all of our need according to his riches in Christ Jesus.” Donors to our ministry should be partners, together with us, not the source of revenue that WE need so that WE can fulfill OUR mission. It is all very convicting.

  5. @Carol-I love the last line of your post: “…so many more that we don’t know personally yet!” That “yet” is what will make the difference in the future of successful fundraising. I know your work well enough to know that you and your team are doing every thing you can to know donors and to have the appropriate level of relationship with everyone. The wall of prayer requests is such a great tool to help you connect with donors and minister to them. Thank you for sharing!

    @Jeff-The shift from wanting to accomplish what the ministry desires to how the ministry can serve as the conduit for the donors’ desire is a tough one. Plus, it is easy to let that “self-focus” creep back into everything from copy to planning. What kinds of things are you doing to keep your ministry from becoming “self-focused?”
    Always love to hear what you’re thinking. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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