Personal Fundraising

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Personal Fundraising

"Let me recall what I said earlier; asking people for money is giving them the opportunity of putting their resources at the disposal of the Kingdom, it is giving other people the chance of offering their resources for the work of God. Secondly, asking people for money is inviting them into a new communion. This is very important; asking for money is inviting people into your vision" We want you to get to know us. We want you to enter into communion with us." What you must always offer is communion, friendship and community."- Henri Nouwen [1]

At it's heart we must remember that all fundraising is a relational process with communion, friendship and community on offer.

Booklet on Personal Support Raising

NEW booklet on personal support raising for you to read online or download...

Personal Support Raising for YWAMers

Personal Fundraising Part I

Personal fundraising has two major aspects:

  1. It is a relational skill to be learned and can be learned.
  2. It is a spiritual process requiring faith, growing trust in God, confidence in God that I am called and spiritual warfare against an enemy who hates God and will do all he can to obstruct God's work.

Living on Relational Support

"I’ve learnt how important relationships are, and that building a support network is more than names in an address book… but rather individuals that you have the ability to love on and bless because they desire to do the same to you."[2]


There are many good principles and resources about building support teams and living the YWAM way:

  • A lifestyle of simplicity is encouraged to be practised for its pragmatic and spiritual benefits.
  • A lifestyle of generosity is encouraged as it is in the image of God. Being generous in giving time, hospitality as well as money. Only generous givers can really understand relational fundraising; it offers great and deep integrity when asking.
  • A lifestyle of relationships and interdependence is the key to a growing support base.
    • Interdependence between missionary and supporters, mission partners, etc. Is the essential function of fundraising.

This is an example taken from a missionary folder compiled by Belinda van de Loo, a YWAM missionary, which explains the cooperation in the mission between missionaries and supporters.

"Each believer is commanded to share the Gospel with others, however not all of us are called beyond the borders of our home country to do so. Missions is a partnership. Those who are called to "go" need the partnership, prayer and financial support of others. Those who "stay" need contact with missions to develop God's heart for the nations by being involved with missionaries first-hand.

Youth With A Mission, like many missions organizations, does not salary its staff. Each YWAM staff person, from the president to the base cook, is required to raise their own financial support for the term of service they have committed. I am very grateful for each person who partners with me in prayer, regular giving, gifts, or in many other practical ways. These individuals, families, and churches have in a very real sense been on the mission field with me from the beginning.

I want to develop a circle of personally involved "mission partners". Each mission partner is equally significant whether the financial support is large or small. Please pray about partnering with me in missions through prayer and/or finances. Let's GO together into all the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ!" [3]

Books and Resources

Title Book Author(s) ISBN
Self-Supporting Ministry Kevin Colyer ISBN 978-095756843-3
Friend Raising:[4]
Building A Missionary Support Team That Lasts
Betty Barnett ISBN 1576582833
Daring to Live on the Edge:[4]
The Adventure Of Faith And Finances
Loren Cunningham ISBN 0927545063
People Raising:
A Practical Guide To Raising Support
William P. Dillon ISBN 0802464475
Growing Givers' Hearts:
Treating Fundraising As Ministry
Thomas H. Jeavons and Rebekah Burch Basinger ISBN 0787948292
More than Money, More than Faith:
Successfully Raising Missionary Support In The Twenty-First Century
Paul Johnson ISBN 141410930X
Fund Raising Realities Every Board Member Must Face:
A 1-Hour Crash Course On Raising Major Gifts For Non-Profit Organizations
David Lansdowne ISBN 1889102326
Funding Your Ministry:
Whether You're Gifted Or Not
Scott Morton ISBN 0967248000
The Spirituality Of Fundraising Henri Nouwen ISBN 0835810445
Donors are People Too:
Managing Relationships With Your Ministry's Major Contributors
Timothy Smith ISBN 1931940789
Funding the Family Business:
The Handbook For Raising Personal Support
Myles Wilson ISBN 0955332001 [5]


Occasionally you can find a seminar inside YWAM such as the Friendraising Seminar. Look outside of YWAM too. There is excellent and relevant training around possibly geographically closer to your than some YWAM training might be.

Types of Missionary Support

  • Tent making: Hard access countries, Hard work! Acts 18:3.
  • Job in a country: Job in country -- influence in churches.
  • Faith missionaries: Living on fresh air! Never ask for help -- the Lord supplies (NOTE! George Müller and Hudson Taylor wrote lots of letters!)
  • Legacy/Trust/Retirements: own support -- have few balancing factors?
  • Half and Half: Half wage, Half gift. Missionaries have to do lots of furloughs and church visitation: Supported by lots of churches.
  • Relational Faith: supported by a legion of small donors or a church (if church votes not to support...) -- very close to the action.

1.Trusting God for Finances

Balance this with:

2.Relational Principles of Missionary Support Raising

  • Be called -- don't die by faith!
  • Be a part of a community of believers -- who verify your call.
  • Break it down -- 30 people supporting you one day a month!
  • Communicate well.
  • Right Relationships.
  • How to make a Personal Budget and openness.
  • Explain clearly what you do!
  • Breakdown the task.
  • Always thank.
  • Prayerfully ask for support (ask people to give monthly).
  • Prayerfully ask for renewed support (once off -- infrequently, regular givers set a regular schedule -- e.g. every two years).
  • Communicate well!
  • Build a team/partnership.
Sources, notes and/or references
  1. Unedited transcription from a talk given by Henri Nouwen to the Marguerite Bourgeoys Family Service Foundation. September 16, 1992. Transcript
  2. How to build a support network from 10 things I learnt in YWAM by Susanna Smith.
  3. Belinda van de Loo, 2007
  4. 4.0 4.1 YWAM BOOK
  5. (Can be bought in UK from Stewardship Services). Can be found at Funding the Family Business website.