12 September 2019
Five Essential Elements of Long-term Giving
Our last blog took a look at some of the aspects of WorldShare’s sharing that makes it a distinctly Christian kind of giving. Hopefully this will have given you something of a flavour of not only WorldShare’s historical mission to date but also the desire that we have to push forward into all that God has for us as we seek to be obedient to the Great Commission!
As a team, it truly is our passion and privilege to be able to collaborate and partner with other ministries around the world. As is more often the case than not, the need for partnership is for the long-term and consequently there are some vital aspects to this type of commitment in giving that best positions us for success.
Here are just five:
1. Provide Regular Relational Contact
As with any busy organisation, often stretched in many different ways, there will regularly be a temptation to substitute relational emphases with task focus. Emails are much more meaningful and impacting if you’ve previously seen and heard the person you’re emailing, right? This is particularly the case in WorldShare where we are often co-working with friends and colleagues all over the world and, often, about sensitive situations and circumstances. Making regular relational contact goes a long way to ensuring that long-term partnership is driven by relationship rather than only focused around the tasks in hand. Wherever they are in the world, you should be able to prioritise regular (perhaps, monthly) video calls with your colleagues to make this happen! Zoom is a great platform for this and facilitates much needed colour and dimension to compliment the more frequent flow of emails.
2. Provide Regular Time For Prayer
Again, busyness is a common part of any organisational culture but, for the Christian organisation, this only emphasises that prayer must be the seedbed of all our activity. Here at WorldShare, we take time to pray and listen to the Holy Spirit at the beginning of every day. We do this in part by using our monthly prayer calendar as a compiled, organised list of both prayer needs and praise points from our partners all over the world. This simple, spiritual discipline not only enables the day to start harmoniously in the office but also to keep our long-term relationships firmly in mind throughout the day - the “why” before the “what”. You can download and use our prayer calendar by clicking here and why not go ahead and make your own?
3. Provide Regular Updates
One of the other important elements in encouraging long-term giving is in providing supporters with the kind of information that really helps them to understand what’s going on in any given part of the world, especially regarding the ministries to which they have given. Take for example one of the many natural disasters that we’ve witnessed in recent months: once the prime-time TV news programmes have finished with their cyclical updates and reports, how else will UK supporters get to know how things are progressing without being provided with reliable insights and impact reports? We’ve found it helpful to try and get video content from our partner’s locations so that supporters can see the literal results of their generous giving. Click here to see a great example of this!
4. Provide Regular Encouragement
As a specific part of providing appeal updates to supporters, it’s also vital to provide them with enthusiastic encouragement - we certainly all need that! Again, this comes back to our distinctly Christian foundation. How often is it the case that you’ve needed help and encouragement from the Bible - and friends and family - to enable you to be outward looking in your life rather than only inwards to your own tiny world of self? The answer is that all of us need this help most of the time! Encouraging our supporters to be generous, and then encouraging them with the results of this generosity, is so important. There is actually a very real pastoral responsibility within this and one that goes a long way to avoiding the dreaded “donor fatigue”.
5. Provide Regular Vision
The Bible teaches us that the people perish without vision (Proverbs 19:18). Therefore, it is visionary Christian leadership that enables all the different people we work with to “last the course” for the long-term. We couldn’t ever expect any supporter to give at all, let alone for the long-term, if we didn’t provide leadership and vision across the multifaceted aspects of an organisation like WorldShare. One of the major ways that we are casting vision for our supporters (of all ages) is regarding the huge potential of digital/social media. In fact, this is the very specific focus of our forthcoming autumn appeal (and Window magazine) partnering with the gospel satellite TV ministry, Kanal Hayat, based in the Middle East, where there is a potential 125 million people who have never heard the gospel. The really exciting thing is that doors of opportunity are opening and people are meeting Jesus! Please do stay tuned for more news over the next few weeks and why not tell a friend?