Dream With Me: Redefine Fundraising Success Around People, Not Money

What if we completely developed a partnership strategy around people? Rather than working backwards from a specific dollar amount, what if we worked backwards from an estimated number of partners? 

The measure of success in fundraising is about shared ownership - not dollars raised.

It wouldn't matter how much money they gave, but there would be clear expectations for being a shared owner - you must pray every week, you must give every month, you must share a request of your own every month with us, you must stay informed and give input on strategic decisions about the ministry, among other interactions.

Imagine if, rather than viewing dollar capacity as the main thrust of growing the ministry, we viewed the commitment of a select group of people as the key to really solving our problem. If we needed more money, we wouldn't go out and fundraise specifically toward a dollar amount. Instead, our ownership group would know how our resourcing and stewardship of those resources was going all along. Imagine if we even invited them to help us make strategic decisions that fit within the resources available to the ownership group. 

In the Western culture, we naturally treat churches more like real partnerships. Somehow, that doesn't translate over to other ministries. If we applied our “typical” fundraising approach to churches, the negative, transactional result would be painfully obvious. We ask people in our churches to be active members, and to help make disciples in a local community beside us. So it should also be in your particular mission, to accomplish the work together.

The measure of success in fundraising is about shared ownership - not dollars raised.

We need to fully make the shift from thinking about partnership as just raising dollars, to truly sharing ownership of a mission strategy to impact the world.


Kiley Hawkins, Co-Founder

On the weekends, when I’m not cheering on the Liverpool Football Club, you’ll find me working outside on my farm. At Tailored, I get most excited about helping organizations achieve alignment around their mission. It's a privilege to be a part of other organizations by thinking strategically and creatively to connect funding and impact.

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