Fundraising can be a daunting task along the journey of obeying God’s call. However, God’s provision is incredible, and depending on Him for finances not only brings you closer to God, but it can also lead to deeper relationships with the people in your life. YWAM Newcastle Staff, Julianne Af Petersens has been in missions for over two decades, so here are 5 helpful hints for fundraising in effective and relational ways, from her personal experience. We hope these tips will encourage anyone who is beginning, or already on, the adventure of faith-based finances.
1. Ask God.
Before you begin any actual fundraising, a great step is to get God’s input and guidance. Ask Him to show you specific people who you can personally invite to partner with you in your season of missions. Whether you’re taking a short-term YWAM course or have committed for a longer time as a staff member, it is vital to have a group of partners to support you prayerfully and financially.
2. Meet with a representative from your local church.
This person can be your pastor, small group leader, youth group leader, or mentor. If possible, ask your local church to commission you into this new season. It is so meaningful to have your spiritual family empower you as you step out in faith. Make sure to maintain the relationship through lots of open communication with your church: before, during and after your YWAM experience.
3. Connect with supporters online.
A great way to communicate what God is doing in your life during your time in YWAM, as well as financial and prayer needs, is to set up a blog or website. Many long term YWAM missionaries choose to communicate with their loved ones and supporters online, as it’s an easy way to connect to people all over the world. This is a way for people to feel involved with your daily life and ministry, even when they aren’t physically with you.
4. Run a fundraising event.
One great way to catch up with people before you leave is to host a dinner or a dessert night. Explain to your family and friends what you’ll be doing on your YWAM adventure, and why you’re going into missions. This also gives the people in your life an opportunity to give to you financially.
5. Communicate regularly and personally.
Remember the whole time you are in YWAM that it is important to keep in contact with your support networks. Skype, newsletters, emails, photos on Instagram, and Facebook posts are all great ways to update folks back home; however, personal touches can have even more impact. Sending letters and postcards in the mail can be a bit less convenient, but is also a special way to bless friends and family who are standing by you prayerfully and financially.
As you put these helpful hints into practice, keep God’s calling and promises in mind. And remember that God, “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”, is on your side.
by Julianne Af Petersens
YWAM Newcastle Staff