Fundraising at the best of times can be intimidating. Even more so in the middle of a pandemic! Asking people to give in times like this may feel daunting, or even insensitive. In the midst of uncertainty, our natural response is to pull in and hunker down. And, for the sake of our vulnerable neighbors, we are being asked to do exactly that!
At the same time, we know that generosity is an antidote to anxiety. It unlocks our joy and shifts our attention to the generosity of God in Christ toward a world he loves. We are already seeing this crisis inspire incredible acts of courage and self-giving. We are seeing that in our own centers as our staff continue to meet with women facing unsupported pregnancy as many of the other resources available to them in our city are shutting down.
The “why” of giving is never clearer than in a crisis. Still, it can be hard to know where to start or how to proceed. So, here are some tips as you seek to raise funds in support of the personhood of pre-born children, of mothers and fathers with unsupported pregnancies, women who are now meeting online in pursuit of healing from past abortions, and students who will hear transformative messages about sex and relationships when schools begin again.
#1 STAY FOCUSED ON THE ABUNDANT GENEROSITY OF JESUS
For followers of Jesus, giving is always about Him. It is a profound act of love, trust, and obedience to bless as we have been blessed. Generosity rooted in trust in Jesus multiplies beyond reason. It is an exponential “loaves and fishes” sort of activity. When we give out of faith in Jesus, we do not end up with less, we end up with more.
Here’s an incredible video from Bible Project on generosity you can share.
#2 TALK ABOUT THE PANDEMIC
This is not business as usual. This is highly unusual and unprecedented in our lifetimes. Ignoring it, or talking around it, is disingenuous. And in fact, the current crisis is part of the motivation to give in these times. Our clients desperately need the services we are continuing to provide.
People are also experiencing real impacts, economically and physically, because of this virus. Acknowledge the uncertainly and reality that giving may be out of reach for some right now. Share how you’re feeling about it, what you’re experiencing, and why you are choosing to focus on generosity toward the vulnerable during this season.
Here’s a post from Larry, our CEO, talking about the current crisis (with a bit of humor) that you can share with people as needed.
#3 TALK ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE SERVE
This is has always been true, but is worth repeating. When we invite people to give, we are inviting them to support pre-born children, mothers and fathers, and many others. It is an invitation to radically and eternally alter the lives of people God has called us to love. It’s not about keeping the organization “First Image” afloat. It’s about so much more than that.
#4 FOSTER A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
This is literally the most isolating time in living memory. We are being asked to “socially distance” and more than that, to stay at home as much as possible. Inviting people to be a part of this year’s Steps for Life, and to give to this work, gives people something to be a part of. It is a communal act of togetherness, even as we’re apart.
In that spirit, don’t just ask people to give, ask them to participate, and invite them to ask others to give and participate, to join the webcast, and to walk or run or otherwise move wherever they are!
Here’s a link to the Steps for Life page that you can share with others to invite them to join in and participate.
Coming together in whatever way we’re able has rarely ever been so important.
#5 BE HELPFUL AND AVAILABLE
Doing everything online is a stretch for many. Between working from home, ordering things online, changing the way we communicate with one another, etc. etc., we’re adjusting quickly to using technology at a level never before seen. Be helpful and available to people that may be struggling with all this change. Help them with the website, or registering to fundraise, or making a gift, or joining the webcast, or the Facebook Group, or any of the other tools and platforms we use to make this work. Be their go-to person and remove as many barriers as possible to participation.
We are also here to help. Reach out with any and every question you have by emailing [email protected] or calling (503) 256 –0808 x158.
Be sure to check out our Online Fundraising Kit! It’s filled with the essentials for being an effective fundraiser (written by a 15 year old who has raised more than $80k no less!)
Here also are links to all the relevant online platforms that you can share:
Finally, thank you for joining us in such a time as this. We are confident that we have an opportunity for a unique and profound experience. And yes, to raise the funds that will enable the life-saving and transforming work happening every day through First Image.
May you be blessed as you give, as you ask, and as you receive.