You know the intrinsic problem with fund raising?
It’s that we try to mediate meaning, instead of equipping others to make meaning.
What I mean by this is that we identify a good cause, we share it with people, we ask them for money, they give it to us, and then we send them a letter saying, ‘Oh, you should have seen little Timmy’s eyes light up when we gave him that new computer we bought with the money you sent us!…’
That’s meaning mediation. That makes us the middleman. The meaning goes through us. Instead, let champions communicate with champions. Let champions ask other champions. Instead of jumping in and doing the work, stand on the sidelines and coach. Offer them tools. Challenge them. Most of all, set them loose and stay out of their way.
Go back to the rich young ruler story in Mark 10:17-27. Jesus looks on the rich young ruler and loves him. How many people are in that scene? Two? Ah – but what about the poor? What about the people who buy the rich ruler’s possessions? What about the entire network of souls that the young ruler will touch if he follows Christ’s command?
Jesus doesn’t tell the man to abandon all that he has and then follow Jesus. He tells him to get in touch with some folks along the way.
If the man does what Jesus tells him to do, the man will actually be building a network. Then what was at first a two way communications loop between Jesus and the man will quickly become an n-way network drawing together people who have probably never spoken before in their lives: Jesus, the rich young ruler, the poor, potential buyers of the rich man’s possessions, and many, many more whom they meet on The Way.
‘One thing you lack,’ said Jesus. ‘Go your way, sell whatsoever you have (presumably to somebody; several somebodies in fact), and give to the poor (whom you probably have never yet met), and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross and follow me.’
And don’t be surprised if there are some other folks following along behind you as well.