While raising money for the church planting fellowship I’m working around 32hrs a week landscaping with a local company. Last week I was making phone calls during part of my lunch break and then then talking it over with my manager. He was glad that I was calling people in other parts of the country, remarking that people here are cheap and impersonal so my odds of success wouldn’t be too high. (Just so you know, this friend grew up in CT and has lived in New England most of his life).
I responded by telling of another friend in the area who oversees fundraising for a large non-profit. His experience is that New Englanders are very tight fisted until they die, and then they give a lot away. My manager and I agreed that this made perfect sense, due to the pragmatism of most people in this area. If you compile these conversations you end up with a rather interesting fundraising strategy.
Fortunately, we don’t have to go down that road. First because God’s hand is in this and all the money is his. This doesn’t mean that I don’t need to be strategic or build a broad network as we look for financial support, it just points us to the ultimate source of funding. This frees us up. And second, we’ve seen incredible generosity from cheap/frugal, impersonal, and pragmatic New Englanders. It is a surprising journey when God is the one making the path.
Here is a section of scripture that comes to mind as I think about our approach to raising money:
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 4:1-2