Have you tried fundraising the traditional way and it just doesn’t seem to work? There could be many reasons for this. A different cultural expectation, an upbringing that didn’t provide typical networks of people or resources, and so many other factors. What are you supposed to do when funding just won’t come and you feel you’ve tried it all? Don't quit.
This could be a unique struggle to those of you from ethnic minorities. There may not be the same economic base of people to begin to invite. More than that, a cultural background also may not accept a direct way of asking for funds. When you’ve been called to a mission or to fulfill a calling, funds should be the last thing keeping you from completing that calling.
The more you fumble, the more likely you are to continue with less funding than you need, scraping by to make it work, or you’ll run out of people to contact completely, sadly stalling your own fundraising. Let’s think outside the box together.
1 - Advocates
Have you tried finding just one person with a passion for your ministry, and deeply involving them in the solution? This person would be called an advocate for you. If they have a network of relationships which they can begin to introduce you to and allow you to share your mission and vision, then you’ve got a whole new network of people to involve in your mission. You can read in more detail about advocates in this blog.
2 - Events
Allowing someone else to host an event for you fits perfectly within an advocate role. You can also host your own events. Don’t scoff at this yet. Creating a simple event with coffee and cookies from your local grocery gives you an opportunity to present your ministry - the problem and your vision for a solution - to a group of people all at once. You can communicate clearly, and allow people to come find you afterward in order to ask questions and express interest in becoming more deeply involved in your ministry through funding or otherwise.
Don't miss your chance to take advantage of this opportunity by getting contact information from everyone who attends. If they were interested enough to come, they will likely be interested enough for a personal meeting, which is just the beginning of a financial partnership!
3 - Friends
You have friends that are pretty amazing people. After all, you're friends for a reason. Ask them for creative ideas to help you raise these funds. Maybe they can’t give, but they could have some out of the box ideas for you. Try them and see if it works.
A little disclaimer here: if your friend does work and gets paid to professionally use their skills, be willing to pay them for their time, even if you ask for a discounted rate. It would unaware of you to assume that they want offer their time and talents and skills to you for free. Just ask them what type of payment would be appropriate.
Think outside the box when you imagine using skills you have or you ask for help from others. Do you have a friend that’s great at video production? Let them help you make a video detailing your mission and the people you will minister to. Do you have a friend that’s a writer? Ask them to edit your written communication. Do you have a friend that’s just so great with people? Ask them to practice your meeting style together and let them give you tips so you’re less awkward.
These three things may not solve all your funding struggles, but it can give you a start to finding different ways to connect with people the Lord brings into your life. If He called you to this mission, He will provide a way for you to fulfill this mission.
Jodie Coher, Communication Specialist
With a passion for discipleship, it’s a true joy for my writing to be a small part of sending others to the mission field. I also enjoy interacting on social media and spending time with my small family in Missouri.