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May 8, 2019

Fundraising With Small Donors

By New Churches Team

What is Small Donor Fundraising?

Most church planters don’t get excited when they hear the term small donor fundraising. Isn’t it easier to have donors willing to contribute large amounts of money? Small donor fundraising is an entirely different way of thinking about fundraising. In small donor fundraising, planters ask individuals to support the mission God has placed in front of them in small amounts on a regular, ongoing basis. This provides a salary for the church planter and a team of people who are praying for and supporting the mission.

What About Traditional Fundraising?

Traditional fundraising for a church plant typically involves a three-year plan with a budget and the intent of raising the full amount. When fundraising with this in mind, you are really asking people a money question. But when you are asking for people to invest on an ongoing basis, you are asking them a mission question. This type of fundraising relieves financial pressure from the church plant allowing the church planter to focus on the mission. They can take time to really meet people where they are and bring the gospel to them. They don’t have to worry about attracting people to the church so that they will begin tithing to take over when the large donors funds run out. This method also survives economic downturns well. Large donors tend to stop giving when they are faced with issues like tax changes or a down stock market. Small donors usually don’t stop giving unless they lose their job because they have budgeted in the funds to their monthly expenses.

In some instances, there is a hybrid model of funding where a church provides some ongoing funds and the church planter also lines up ongoing ministry partners. The combining of tithe from the church and the ongoing funds provides the full salary the church planter needs to be on mission.

Three Preparations for Small Donor Fundraising

As church planters prepare to launch a small donor fundraising model, they need to keep a couple of things in mind.

  1. Start early. Plan for as much as two years on what you want your model to look like, what your mission is, and how people can come alongside you to help fund that mission. Most small donors are brought on board by relationship, so you need to build in time to talk individually, explain your story, and why it’s important. It is not as simple as a one-time business pitch.

To read the rest of this article, and to watch the entire video training, click here for the full videos and post.

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New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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