Auteur: Fred Smith
Category: Générosité mondiale
I am going to upset some people now. It’s not intentional but I think there is a good deal of misinformation that has been floating around for years about the idea of ministering to donors. I am not arguing with the overall concept of ministering to people - just with a couple of assumptions about what ministry is to donors.
First, it assumes donors (especially major donors) need a particular kind of ministry due to their circumstances. Those circumstances are described as isolated, lonely, spiritually dry, weighed down with family problems that include shaky marriages, troubled kids and misplaced priorities. There are more but these seem to be the most common. I have heard these described in generous detail in fund-raising seminars, books, websites and numerous articles in journals.
In so many words, "Donors are needy people and your ministering to them will create a bond that will result in a productive relationship for the ministry." Get out there and start ministering!
When I think about my own experience over the course of 30 years with donors and their families, I long ago came to the conclusion that more often than not major donors are at least as "healthy" as those asking for support and their lives are often far more balanced. The average tenure of a development person is eighteen months. The average tenure of a donor is decades. The family life of a major donor is filled with options to spend time with his family and, in most cases, they are in control of their schedule and commitments. The life of a fund-raiser for an international ministry requires constant travel and separation. Major donors are typically active in their local church. Development professionals are often gone on week-ends and cannot make commitments to the local congregation. Many, many major donors are involved in Bible studies and personal growth. In other words, whose life needs more ministry?
It’s regrettable that more development people cannot turn the tables and ask themselves what they can learn from major donors. I can assure you they are open to teaching and being examples of healthy spiritual lives if we can get rid of the image of them as needy, isolated and spiritually immature people hungry for another companion to help them.