2 Principles for Fundraising: A Lifetime Venture of Faith

Fundraising Series
When we were in our 20s and 30s we continually prayed about and asked people to give to our ministry. It was definitely at the nerve center of our prayer life and walk by faith.  I remember once when our daughter Amy was two years old and fell ill with the croup. She could barely breathe. In a short conversation with our doctor we knew we needed to get her in the bathroom, let a warm shower run and go buy a humidifier.  At that moment we did not have enough in our checking account to cover such a purchase. So, not only was Amy really sick but it was at a time when we were encountering a financial crunch time. (This was before "credit cards.")  Tom went out to the local pharmacy and bought the lifesaving machine.  

As a young mom I found myself sitting in the bathroom totally focused on Amy’s reduced capacity to breathe and in a raw, vulnerable state trusting God to provide backup funding for that check Tom wrote.  The next day we received in the mail the exact amount for the humidifier from our phone company.  How ridiculous!  What phone company ever sends money to their customers?  Let’s see, uhhh, NONE!?!

I am sure you have experienced such precarious moments as well.  For me, the whole arena of fundraising has been a personal spiritual challenge over the years!  God seems to continually use our financial need to show us how great He is and how willing He is to provide for us.  When I think I might be taking God’s financial provision for granted He gives us an opportunity to trust Him by faith. 

With this post I want to share two basic principles from the scriptures that have held me ‘tight’ over the years as we have raised funds. Let's look at at time when the disciples had to trust God in Mark 6.
45 Right away Jesus made his disciples get into the boat. He had them go on ahead of him to Bethsaida. Then he sent the crowd away. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples pulling hard on the oars. The wind was blowing against them. Shortly before dawn, he went out to them. He walked on the lake. When he was about to pass by them, 49 they saw him walking on the lake. They thought he was a ghost, so they cried out. 50 They all saw him and were terrified.

Right away Jesus said to them, “Be brave! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them. The wind died down. And they were completely amazed. 52 They had not understood about the loaves. They were stubborn. 53 They went across the lake and landed at Gennesaret. There they tied up the boat.      Mark 6:45-53 NIRV

The role of ‘faith’ as we trust God for financial provision is central to our fundraising task!  If we only had verses 45 and 53 of Mark 6, we might conclude, “Well, no problem, just another boat journey for the 12!”  Turns out this boat ride was horrific for the disciples, yet increased their faith. Or did it?

For our purposes, let’s allow their “boat trip” to illustrate a segment in the journey of fundraising! As Jesus put them in the boat He knew that they ‘might’ substantially grow in faith!  When Jesus led us to join the Navigators He knew we ‘could’ continually grow in faith!
After Jesus left the 12 in the boat and went off to pray, the disciples later found themselves in the middle of the Sea of Galilee rowing against a great wind. Jesus saw them facing difficulty.  In the midst of their bewildering distress Jesus came walking up on the water. In other words, He miraculously showed Himself to them.  He did so when they least expected it. He did so in a way they least expected it!  When they saw Him they were terrified. He spoke truth to them and then got into the boat!  With His presence the wind died down.  Jesus’ presence brought calm to their terrifying situation!

Principle #1
I can feel their torment as Christ gets into the boat. That His presence would bring calm was a lesson in itself.  And that is the first principle for fundraising that keeps me intact:  Get Jesus in the boat!  We do this through recognizing the struggle we are in as we row against the winds of pushing out to ask for financial support.  We can be assured that Jesus sees our struggle.  We invite Jesus to the helm of our boat through steady prayer over and around our fundraising efforts. Jesus comes to us and provides for us in ways and at times we least expect!  When we recognize that we lack “calm” it is our red flag to sit down with Jesus and have an intimate chat.  We need to hear and believe him when He says to us, “Be brave. It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

The feeding of the 5000 was a faith provision the 12 had just experienced through the power of Christ minutes before they had gotten in the boat.  Apparently, they had either forgotten about this amazing miracle which had just occurred or they had not embraced the supernatural provisional power of Christ in their hearts of faith. 

      For they failed to consider or understand [the teaching and meaning of the miracle of] the loaves; [in fact] their hearts had grown callous [had become dull and had lost the power of understanding].  Mark 6:52 Amplifed Bible

Principle #2
Think about it!  Jesus had walked on the lake to them, got in the boat and the wind died down.  The disciples were utterly astonished. However, their ‘amazement’ was not to their credit because the scripture says that they had not understood the provision of the loaves!  Their faith had not grown!  It says they were stubborn, which means they were obstinate or unyielding.  Their lack of faith leads us to the second principle we need to embrace when we step out and trust God together with our spouse for donors or increased giving to our ministry:  Remember God’s provision of the past with a tender heart of faith!

Fundraising is a lifetime commitment that is part of the Navigator staff way of life.  It is one where Jesus intends to increase our faith!  This requires that, along with our spouse, we keep Jesus at the center of our fundraising efforts and our hearts tenderly trusting that He will indeed provide!  We need to believe in and bank on the supernatural power of Christ as He continues to provide for us.


Dana with Tom has been on staff with the Navs for over 30 years and married over 40 years. They are blessed with six children and seven grandchildren. Dana has lived in many places throughout her life time: Florida, Maryland, Indonesia, Chicago and Colorado Springs to name a few. Dana's loves are the Word of God, people and helping people learn.

To contact Dana please email her at: Dana.Yeakley@navigators.org

How have you seen God's faithfulness in the journey of fundraising?  What has He taught you during this time? Share a story or verse that could encourage another mom in the midst of this season.


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