Department of Endowments. “A Rising Tide STILL Raises All Ships” Rev. Jacqueline Reeves, NST Rosemary Calderalo, Ph.D. NSAC Convention 2012. All presentations may be found on the NSAC web page, "Fund Raising Support,” along with Dept. of Endowment Annual Reports, tools and resources.
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“A Rising Tide
Raises All Ships”
Rev. Jacqueline Reeves, NST
Rosemary Calderalo, Ph.D.
NSAC Convention 2012
All presentations may be found on the NSAC web page, "Fund Raising Support,” along with Dept. of Endowment Annual Reports, tools and resources.
The above is based on an analysis of research in the field of philanthropy -- including Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, Independent Sector, University of Pittsburgh, and others.
You have to be in it to win! – likewise, if a person interested in Spiritualism can’t find a way to give or to register for an event on the internet, more and more they are likely not to give or mail a check in at all. Offering supporters a way to give online in a unified way is about survival.
NSAC – new directions to maximize trends
From a study by The Winkler Group
we already know how to fundraise and how to get past fears.
For conversations with supporters or potential supporters, prepare in the same way. Make sure you understand their interests and that you will present yourself in a way that conveys respect for the person and the process.
Make time to connect to the right reasons for the conversation; be clear on the help that is needed and that it is help that the supporter may want to give.
In the same way you would work to be clearly heard in a service, make sure you are clear in your conversations and that you strive to approach the conversation in an uplifting manner. Let the supporter know how they can be part of a larger effort for Spirit. Make sure they feel known and heard.
While the purpose of a donor/supporter conversation is not about Spirit greetings or messages, it is about Spiritualism. You must make it your responsibility to represent Spiritualism accurately; make sure you are educated on the religion, philosophy and science of Spiritualism as well as traditions and beliefs.
Politeness and enthusiasm should be givens but it bears mentioning: if you are not excited about the topic, why should the supporter? Politeness conveys respect for the gift given or being considered.
Gratitude and appreciation in many directions is important: to Spirit, to the supporter, for the opportunity, to yourself for taking the step to involve others in supporting Spiritualism. Our supporters may not be seeking recognition or gratitude, but when it is not offered it can feel disrespectful in its absence. Offering thanks and recognition publicly when the supporter agrees helps create an atmosphere of gratitude and giving within the organization and encourages others to become more involved and to give as well.
Practice helps everything – from being a medium to being a good “scout” for your church. If you’re not comfortable with asking for support, practice until it feels more normal. Consider role-playing with other members of your church who are also involved in fundraising.
If you have enough information to have sought the conversation, you won’t need to ask the basic questions about interest.
It’s okay to make mistakes; don’t be afraid to be apologize and be honest about misunderstandings. That’s what builds the road to a good partnership.
If you are not excited and if you are not convinced that what you are asking for is important, than how can you expect the donor/supporter to want to give?
Every conversation will be different because every person is different and every person has different talents and resources to offer. Money helps but there are many ways a gift can be given; perhaps someone would rather buy hymnals than give an outright cash gift. Perhaps someone without immediate access to resources may leave a gift in his or her will. Become well-versed in all the different ways to give and the different needs of your church.
Every interaction with a supporter will be different. Spirit may be helping us but the decisions to support or not support are based on human free will. We must “do our part” to ensure support and growth for our churches.
A given, yet when frustrated some of us may be tempted! Save it for afterward!
We live on the physical plane and are working our own individual paths. Sometimes it may be difficult to separate emotions, messages, ideas from what is the best for a church project or what it is best to ask of a supporter. Take the time you need to sort it out before engaging in fundraising so that conversations can be clear, honest and have the best chances of success.
Make sure if you are utilizing other modalities or beliefs to raise money, that your church is always clear about what Spiritualism is so that you do not confuse members and the public or inadvertently communicate mixed information.
…donor and supporter conversations are about hope, faith and evidence. We want to develop investors, partners in service to Spiritualism. We must be able to provide the evidence that gifts are needed and will be used wisely and in the way that was intended. It’s about being in dynamic communication with the Spirit of our combined efforts, in relationship here on the physical plane for mutual benefit and mutual support for Spiritualist churches, the larger organization and Spiritualism throughout the world.
The work matters.
A rising tide raises all ships.
Are you on board?