When God puts a dream in your heart, it can be hard to articulate it to others.
Sometimes, it’s just a feeling — a direction you believe God’s called you to walk in. The best you feel you can communicate is, “This way! I don’t know why!” This is a good place to be. It’s a God place to be — walking on water, following the sound of His voice.
Sometimes you see a destination. You know what the result of following God’s voice will be. You’d tell others about it, but you’re not sure to talk about how you’re going to reach your goal.
Sometimes, God points out a need He wants you to fill. You may even know what must be done to meet that need. However, the work seems daunting. You have to get others on board, but how do you do it?
Here’s what we believe at ArtSpeak: If God has called you to lead, there are plenty of people who want to follow. We want to commit our time, encouragement, and finances to help accomplish God’s plan here on earth.
We want to see God’s Kingdom come.
But His people aren’t won over easily. Every one of us has been disappointed before. If you want to communicate your project in a way that gets us excited — then moves us to invest our hard-earned money — you need a fundraising brochure that describes more than your dream.
To create an effective fundraising brochure, you’ll need to look at your project from the perspective of your donor base. You’ll ask yourself, “If I were looking at this project as an outsider, what would I want to know? What fears would I need to address? And what would inspire me to give?”
Then, you’ll have to communicate your answer in a way that:
- Helps others see what you see
- Answers their questions and concerns
- Gives them a clear call to action
When you do this, you enable the body of Christ to do the work of ministry. It’s no longer about you — it’s about others.
And that’s what we all want as Christian leaders! An effective fundraising brochure becomes a tool to call God’s people to do something practical that will make an eternal difference.
Element 1: Cast the Vision with Empathy
Too often, when leaders “cast the vision,” they say, “This is what I want to do.” But that doesn’t inspire people to act. Therefore, as leaders who want to connect with possible donors, we have to flip the script.
When you cast a vision, realize it must be done with empathy — from the potential donor’s perspective. Remember, those people want to leave a legacy. They want to matter. When they look back on their lives, they want to see some kind of evidence that they’ve made a difference.
And like any of us who call ourselves Christians, they hope to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
That means no one will waste money giving to a venture if they can’t see how their actions can further the Kingdom of God in some way.
When you cast your vision:
- Put yourself in the listener’s shoes
- Paint the picture of the “future world” you see as clearly as possible
- Show them that this “future world” is worth creating together
As you do this, you set the stage for a partnership that will bring others a deep feeling of personal significance.
Element 2: Inspire Confidence
Once you’ve painted the picture, put yourself in your audience’s shoes again. They want to know if you can do what you say you can do. This is a place where we, as Christians, can fall short. We all want to clothe ourselves in humility — none of us wants to brag.
But remember, this is not about you. This is about the people you’re speaking with. Help them understand that if they give, it will make a difference. You can do this in three ways.
First, show your history.
Let others know you have a background in making things like this happen. Sure — you may have never attempted something this big before, but that’s okay. People need to see you’ve been successful in making something happen. Share your successes.
Second, show your team.
When you ask for money, you need to let donors know you’re accountable to people beyond yourself. There should be a board of advisors with trustworthy reputations you can refer to.
You should also have a team of people who have committed to help you bring your vision to pass. When you talk about these people, you’ll assure donors others see this “future world” with you — that others believe in you and what you want to accomplish.
Third, show your plan.
Of course, you can’t have every detail worked out. We wouldn’t trust that anyway. But we need to know you and your team have thought about this long enough to come up with a plan. And when we review your plan, you want us to think: “Wow, this is a big job, but I think they can do it!”
If you can’t win people over with your plan, likely, you won’t get them to commit their money either.
Element 3: Make the Emotional Connection
As donors, we need more than data, plans, and history. We need you to get personal — to go beyond facts and get to the heart of the matter. Here, you’ll let people know how their giving will change lives.
If you’ve done similar work before — or are raising money for ongoing work — you should provide personal stories of life change. Move your audience to tears, if possible. This is not manipulation — it’s telling the truth in emotional terms.
You have to earn the right to make an emotional connection. But if you’ve shown you’re able to do what you said you can do, you must let people know what “Mission Accomplished” feels like.
This is an essential element. Don’t miss it.
Element 4: Call the People to Action
If you’ve done all of the above:
- Clearly painted the vision for your audience, setting them at the center of the story
- Inspired confidence in potential donors by letting them know you can do what you say you can do
- Shown them what it will feel like when your vision is accomplished…
…then, and only then, can you ask for money. But if you don’t ask, no one will give. It’s that simple. Sometimes, we want to believe God will provide without our action, but that’s rarely how He acts.
He uses people to provide. You must ask clearly and tell them exactly how to give.
If you’re sending them to a website, make sure it is designed simply, so there are no barriers to giving. Don’t forget to provide other contact information: phone number, email address, and a mail address.
You can do this!
For most of us, at least one of these four elements can seem like a big challenge. Every personality is different, so you may need a team to help you get your message across effectively.
But we don’t want you to give up. At ArtSpeak, we help difference-makers reach people. If you need help getting the word out by creating a fundraising brochure that works, let us know. We want to help you accomplish the dream God put in your heart.