Fundraising for Christian non-profit organizations

Weideman, Eleanor (1999-12)

Thesis (M.Comm.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Before starting out on how fundraising should be done, it is important to understand the history of Christian fundraising. In the field there are two opposite poles of thought: Those who say organizations should never request donations and those who say that organizations should. Christian organizations in South Africa are often viewed by outsiders (as well as those working within these organizations), as unprofessional in their fundraising efforts. Proper planning for the organization as a whole and in particular for its fundraising efforts is not done. If this is the case and an organization is not effective in its fundraising, the organization is doomed to failure because funds will not be forthcoming to do the work. In preparing for fundraising the most important aspect is effective planning. Experience have shown that, although most Christian organizations do day-to-day planning (and plan how the donations received will be spent on the work being done), very little time is devoted to future plans. The organization also needs to embark on an encompassing strategic planning exercise, which differs from planning in scope, importance, resource commitment, time frame and purpose. After preparing for fund raising the fund raiser must determine the sources of revenue. It is a misconception that the buildings, personnel and programmes of an organization constitute an organization. Those whom the organization" 'serves are the heart of the organization and it exists only because of them. From a Christian organization point of view, it is logical to assume that if a Christian organization's primary goal is evangelism and missionwork, its constituency is already narrowed down to mostly Christians. Only after the constituency has been identified can the organization identify sources of revenue within their constituency. For most organizations there are three sources of revenue: Individuals, corporations and trusts, of which individuals are by far the largest source of revenue for Christian organizations. If the fund raiser does not know how to cultivate those sources the organization will keep on struggling or even worse, it will not succeed. This is where many Christian organizations fail. They do not believe that methods used in business can also apply to Christian organizations. In fact many of them go so far as to say that these methods of fundraising are wrong and un-biblical. Methods that can be used successfully within Christian organizations to solicit funds from individuals are relationship fundraising and personal support raising. On the other hand, the other method is applicable to obtaining revenue from a variety of sources: Special events, where many different sources are utilized to make the event a success. These -three methods are probably the methods most used in Christian organizations. It is imperative that the organization realizes that the diversity of funding is the secret of financial stability. To be successful the organization needs broad-based, diversified fundraising, in other words, it needs to utilize all possible methods available - keeping in mind its Christian roots. Other methods discussed, to solicit funds from corporations and trusts and how to do capital fund raising, are technical and the organization may need professional help to make a success of it. Corporate and trust fund raising are methods that are source-specific, and which can be used only for a specific source while a capital campaign solicits funds from a variety of sources. In all these methods the strategic plan and in particular the case statement of the organization is very important. Without those tools these methods cannot be used with success. To be successful in these methods creative writing is a seminal aspect of fundraising, as it is needed in nearly every aspect. Without creative writing skills the organization is unable to communicate effectively and this has an inevitable impact on success rations. For Christian organizations doing fundraising in an environment where many secular organizations use every means at their disposal to raise funds, no matter what the cost, it is sometimes difficult to make the right choices. Ethical decision-making goes much further that just what is legal. It goes beyond the enforceable. It is a moral and religious issue that needs to be addressed. Finally, it is important to mention that the organization that is serious about fundraising, has to create an environment that is both professional and positive. The empirical analysis aims to highlight implications of the findings of the study done on Christian organizations and the fundraising done within their organizations. If problem areas are highlighted these organizations can deal with it and improve their professionalism - and thereby their successes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Voordat verduidelik word hoe fondsinsameling gedoen behoort te word, is dit belangrik om die geskiedenis van Christelike fondsinsameling te verstaan. Op die gebied is daar twee teenstrydige pole van gevoelens: Diegene wat se dat organisasies nooit behoort te vra vir skenkings nie en diegene wat voel dat organisasies behoort te vra vir skenkings. Buitestaanders (Em diegene wat in die Christelike organisasies werk) voel dikwels dat Christelike organisasies in Suid-Afrika onprofessioneel te werk gaan in hulle fondsinsamelingsveldtogte. As dit wei die geval is en 'n organisasie doen nie die fondsinsameling doeltreffend nie, sal die organisasie faal omdat daar nie enige fondse verkry sal word om die werk te doen nie. Doeltreffende beplanning is die belangrikste aspek wanneer voorberei word vir fondsinsameling. Ervaring het getoon dat daar baie min tyd bestee word aan toekomsbeplanning, hoewel Christelike organisasies wei gewone dagbeplanning doen (en beplan hoe die skenkings wat ontvang word, bestee gaan word aan die werk wat gedoen word). Na die voorbereiding vir die fondsinsamelingsveldtog, moet die fondsinsamelaar bepaal waar die geld vandaan gaan kom. Dit is 'n wanopvatting om te dink dat 'n organisasie bestaan uit die geboue, personeel en programme van 'n organisasie. Diegene wat deur die organisasie bedien word, vorm die hart daarvan omdat dit eintlik net bestaan omdat hulle daar is. Uit 'n Christelike oogpunt, is dit logies om te veronderstel dat die donateurs, lede, medewerkers en ander belanghebbendes se samestelling hoofsaaklik op Christene berus, omdat 'n Christelike organisasie se belangrikste oogmerke gewoonlik evangelisasie en sendingwerk is. Die organisasie kan egter net besluit waar die inkomste vandaan gaan kom as hulle weet hoe die samestelling van die medewerkers, lede en ander belanghebbendes werklik lyk. Vir die meeste organisasies is daar drie bronne van inkomste: individue, korporasies en trusts, waarvan individue verreweg die grootste bron van inkomste is vir Christelike organisasies. As die fondsinsamelaar nie weet hoe om die hulpbronne te ontgin nie, sal die organisasie aanhou sukkel, of erger nog, nie sukses behaal nie. Oit is waar baie Christelike organisasies faal. Hulle glo nie dat die metodes wat in sake-ondernemings gebruik word ook van toepassing kan wees op Christelike organisasies nie. Om die waarheid te se, gaan baie van hulle so ver om te voel dat die metodes van fondsinsameling verkeerd en on-Bybels is. Metodes wat suksesvol in Christelike organisasies gebruik word om fondse van individue te ontvang, is veral metodes wat berus op verhoudings en persoonlike ondersteuning. Nog 'n metode is om inkomste te verkry vanuit verskillende bronne: spesiale gebeure waar heelwat verskillende bronne benut word om 'n sukses te maak van die geleentheid. Die drie metodes word waarskynlik meestal gebruik deur Christelike organisasies. Dit is van die uiterste belang dat organisasies besef dat die geheim van finansiele stabiliteit 'n diverse bron van fondse is. Om sukses te behaal, moet die organisasie 'n bree basis en gediversifiseerde fondsinsameling benut. Dit beteken dat al die moontlike, beskikbare, metodes benut moet word - terwyl die Christelike grondslag nooit buite rekening gelaat word nie. Ander metodes wat bespreek word, om fondse te verkry van besighede en trusts en hoe om kapitaal te genereer, is van tegniese aard en die organisasie sal waarskynlik professionele hulp nodig he om dit suksesvol te kan doen. Fondsinsameling by korporatiewe ondernemings en trusts hou spesifiek verband met die bron en dit kan net benut word vir 'n bepaalde bron terwyl 'n veldtog fondse insamel vanuit verskeie bronne. By al die metodes is die strategiese plan, veral die beplanning vir 'n bepaalde projek, uiters belangrik vir die organisasie. Sonder die gereedskap, kan-die metodes nie suksesvol toegepas word nie. Om sukses te behaal met die metodes, is 'n kreatiewe skryfvermoe, 'n indringende faset van fondsinsameling omdat dit nodig is vir feitlik elke enkele aspek van die insamelingspogings. Sonder kreatiewe skryfvaardighede, kan die organisasie nie doeltreffend kommunikeer nie en dit het 'n daadwerklike invloed op die sukses wat behaal word. Vir Christelike organisasies wat fondse insamel in 'n omgewing waar baie sekulere organisasies elke enkele middel tot hul beskikking aanwend om fondse te verkry, ongeag die koste, is dit soms moeilik om reg te kies. Etiese besluite gaan baie verder as blote besluite op grond van die reg. Dit strek verder as die afdwingbare. Dit is 'n morele en religieuse saak wat aandag moet geniet. Laastens, is dit baie belangrik om te noem dat organisasies wat ernstig is oor fondsinsameling, 'n omgewing moet skep wat positief en professioneel is. Die empiriese ontleding is daarop gerig om die implikasies van die bevindinge van die navorsing oor Christelike organisasies en die fondsinsamelings in die organisasies uit te lig. As daar probleemgebiede genoem word, kan die organisasies iets daaraan doen en hulle professionalisme verbeter - om so meer sukses te behaal.

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