We don’t like to call it fund raising. Not because we want to trick people or call it something that fools people out of their money, but because at the most foundational level, it’s not fund raising (though funds are a great byproduct).
At the most foundational level, when I call someone to set up an appointment with them to share about how God is at work and how they can join with Him in that work, I am developing partners. It’s not just corporate-speak or sleight of tongue. I want your money, but only if it is coming from a heart of partnership. I’ll say that in reverse and in boldface, for emphasis: I don’t want your money if it is not coming from a heart of partnership. If you think you are paying me off (or worse, paying God off) by giving, keep it.
The word development is key, as well. I am not “Ministry Partner Fishing” or “Finding.” We aren’t just looking for a one-time thing, here. Our desire is to cultivate a real relationship, over time. I am thrilled to say that, in spite of my spotty efforts, God has raised up some folks on our team that are real partners. We have people that have been on our team since 2002. What a testimony to God’s work. When I started this blog about two years ago, my goal was that it would be another place to really give our ministry partners access to our lives.
Yeah, at times I call them “supporters” and refer to what we do as “support raising,” but make no mistake, when I challenge people to give, I am challenging them to partnership.