This one thing for year-end fundraising success: listen


We fundraisers tend in the direction of extroversion. We’re talkers, schmoozers, people-people. We have the gift of gab.

Which is all good — most of the time.

We are, after all, expected to be winsome. To make a compelling a case for the organization we represent. To tell a good story. And of course, to ask for the gift.

However, when we fall too much in love with the sound of our own voice or the eloquence of our words, we have a problem — all the more so when our aim is to grow hearts that are rich toward God.

As Thom Jeavons and I wrote many years back in Growing Givers’ Hearts: Treating Fundraising as Ministry:

Fundraisers working in faith-based settings should look [and listen] beyond the organization’s needs and goals to the blessings donors will experience from their generosity – to the life-enriching relationship with God that can be deepened through the practice of giving.

At year-end and every other season of the year, the best gifts (e.g. gifts that encourage donors to grow in faith through generosity) come when we stay quiet long enough for the other to get a word in edge-wise. When we listen as much (or more) as we talk.

So, dear friends, as you meet with the good folks who support your organization between now and December 31, hold your tongue, and not simply as a fundraising strategy. Do so because you truly want to hear what God is up to in their hearts through their generosity.

Donors will be blessed by what you don’t say and you’ll be blessed by what you hear. In other words, year-end fundraising success.

What's your take on this topic?

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