Fundraising is the worst.
There are some pretty great things about it (see my previous post here, about our tribe increasing). It’s super fun getting to know people by traveling and sharing our story. But, also, it’s the worst. I’ll tell you why in a minute. But, first:
We’ve got this cool app that is updated daily with pledges, donations, and expenses. We can estimate how much we’ll bring in on a monthly basis if everyone fulfills their pledges (faith promises), we can even look at a map and see where donations are coming from. (Isn’t it cool?!)
I check it at least three times a day.
Most days it doesn’t change too much. So most days are disappointing.
We currently have 36 people who have made monthly faith promises. The faith promises range from $5-$450 and every single one matters. These 36 people have committed to providing 22% of our annual budget. This is amazing. We’ve also had a half-dozen people give one-time gifts ranging from $10-$7500. Also, amazing.
But most days it doesn’t change too much. So most days are disappointing.
If the average faith promisers promises $50, we need 144 more of them. If we’re cutting it as close to the wire as possible, we’ve got 29 more weeks of fundraising before we want to step on a plane and move to Mongolia. That means we need an average of 4.96 new faith promises a week. We’re currently adding an average 1-2. I am not comforted by these stats.
Here are things we’ve done to raise money: collected over 700 addresses for churches in the districts we’ve served and for people we’ve known in the different cities where we’ve lived, then we hand addressed (with help from people who love us), personalized printed letters, stuffed, sealed, and stamped them; spoken in churches, sent emails, held parties, met with small groups, rented a ger, hosted an art night, written blog posts, curated weekly and monthly email updates, and prayed, a lot.
Here are things we’re planning to do: call all the people we have phone numbers for to set up one-on-one meetings (pastors we know, pastors we don’t know, friends and family we sent letters to, etc.); sending emails to people we have email addresses for; collecting more addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers; meet with growth groups; write more blog posts; curate more updates; and so many more things.
Guys, it’s hard. We try to tell ourselves all the right (true) things about how if God is behind this we won’t fail, how he owns the cattle on a thousand hills, how he will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches. We try to tell ourselves that we’re not begging for money, that we’re inviting people to be part of something bigger than themselves, that we’re providing an opportunity for them. But it feels like we’re selling Amway.
And days it doesn’t change too much. So most days are disappointing.
But we keep going. Because we believe in what we’re doing. And we believe that God is going to move. And we believe that all (well, most) of our work matters. And we believe that God is going to move people to be part of the mission that he’s already called us to.
Still, most days it doesn’t change too much. And most days are disappointing.
Fundraising is the worst.
If you’d like to be part of making one of our days a not-disappointing day, you can make your faith promise or financial donation here.