May 5, 2016 Douglas Shaw & Associates

When working in ministry (and in particular, ministry fundraising) – there’s one golden rule: keep requests for prayer separate from requests for donations.

But as Doug Shaw mentioned in his book, The Rules of Fundraising, “there are new rules being discovered every day.”

Recently, one of our clients experienced a desperate tragedy with staff overseas. We helped them prepare an emergency email letter, designed to defray the expense of getting their other agents to safety.

Separately, the charity’s employee who routinely emails prayer requests to its faithful supporters, wrote a missive to implore them for ongoing prayer in this dire situation. But she was moved to add something to the email. And something wonderful happened.

At the end of the prayer request email, the coordinator told the faithful readers about the need to support staff with relocation and safety expenses, including a link to make a donation.

Average daily donations to the campaign were about $200 – this email link generated more than $11,000, bringing the campaign total to over $75,000.

Certainly, the general rule of separating prayer and fundraising appeals is a reliable strategy. But sometimes, breaking a rule can mean helping to save a life.