In my organization, each missionary must find ministry partners to join in the work with their prayers and financial support. Fundraising involves sharing the vision that God has given, asking for financial support and meeting with churches, mission committees and individuals, while also networking to find new avenues for partners.
I am an introvert. I get recharged by having time alone. I listen more than talk, have a small but deep circle of friends, and would often rather read a book than go to a party. I love people, but they exhaust me after awhile and I need time to be refreshed before going at it again.
As an introvert, fundraising is not my cup of tea. In fact, I have dreaded this part of ministry for a long time. The very thought of meeting upon meeting, the BIG ASK, tires me out. But, here are a few things I have learned in this journey of fundraising as an introvert.
- Ultimately God is Jehovah Jireh, the God who WILL provide. I must look to Him as the giver of all gifts.
- Fundraising is NOT about how outgoing I am, or how good I am at it.
- People will give a little bit because they know me, but they will sacrifice for the vision.
- I need to set reasonable goals for myself, knowing my strengths and weaknesses. These goals may be different than someone who is more extroverted and that is okay.
- Try not to schedule too many appointments and speaking engagements close together. Allow for time alone to rest and be refreshed.
- Understand what is expected as much as possible before going in. Will I be speaking for 15 minutes or 40? The only one to share or part of a group of other missionaries that will also be sharing?
- Prepare adequately. Write out an outline, with the important points that you want to make.
- Have something you can leave with people that can keep them thinking.
- Even if all of the “fundraising experts” say letters and emails are not as effective, it is okay to use them. Use these tools to communicate clearly and concisely.
- Follow up with people sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the harder it is!
Mostly in this journey I have learned to press closer to Jesus, to trust His timing and provision. He is the One who created me just as I am, and He will give me the confidence to move forward as He calls and leads.
Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence.