Why do people give? Since just about 100% of the money we receive for our ministries comes from gifts it is an important question. Here are three reasons people give.
People give because…
They have confidence in the fiscal responsibility of the ministry. Show that you are spending the funds given to you wisely and you will receive more. While you don’t have to show how every paper clip is used, you do need to show that you are responsible with finances. Quarterly statements showing where the money is going builds confidence in your donors. Ministries that are not open about their budgets and expenses will receive fewer dollars than those that fully disclose. By making yourself accountable you will increase the confidence level of donors and thus gain more dollars.
They believe in your vision. It has often been said, “Good vision trumps bad economy.” Vision is the driver. If you have a story to tell, get the word out! Vision is simply what is in your heart and when you share that vision with conviction and passion, people are inspired to help you realize your dreams. This is called vision casting. We often make vision casting too difficult; it is simply helping others see what you see already. If you haven’t cast your vision in a while –or ever, dust it off and communicate it. Also, don’t think that you can simply share the vision once and people will remember it. You must share the vision continually. Cast a compelling vision and people will give to support it. It’s a vision thing!
They trust the leadership of the organization and hold it in high regard. People buy into the leader before they buy into his vision. This is especially true if you are casting a vision that is new or different. You have to first win hearts and the trust of your members before they will get on board with your message. Too frequently pastors have vision but because they did not have the hearts of the people they were unable to raise the funds to support it. Scripture tells us that “without a vision the people perish” (Prov. 29:18). And sadly, without financial support visions die.
These three reasons are the main drivers behind why people do or don’t give, and how generously. How do you stack up? Fail in any of the three and you will see your giving decline. Successfully implement these principles and you will see increase.
A prolific writer and founding partner of The Charis Group, Mark Brooks brings not only a rich background of ministry experience but also years of successfully helping Christian ministries raise funds for capital projects. He has also written several e-books such as “The Top Ten Stewardship Mistakes Churches Make.” Follow Mark on Twitter