Drop the Sales Pitch!Written by Todd Eckhardt
I am a huge believer in the "Transformational Giving" approach.
Transformational Giving is really more about principles that guide our strategy, which in turn will guide our ‘tactics’.
Wrong strategy leads to wrong tactics.
Could it be that the reason the listener sometimes hears our fund raising presentation as ‘begging’ is because we are using tactics built on poor strategy?
Peter Drucker makes an insightfull comment about the difference between sales and marketing that applies here.
To Drucker, the clear distinction between marketing and sales was that in marketing you found out what your customer wanted and then you built that into your product.
In the Transformational Giving approach, a key goal is to find out what God is doing in the life of your ministry partner's / champion's life. This strategy is built on principle #4 of Transformational Giving:
A champion connects with an organization for the purpose of enhancing their mutual impact on the cause, not only to support the organization’s impact on the cause.
It is about the champion’s impact not ours. So it is about the champion and what she needs, not my need for their funds.
Then as Drucker said, “Since what you produced was what was wanted or needed, a well- designed and carefully manufactured product hardly needed to be sold.”
So if your ministry is designed to fill the gap God has placed in someone’s life (i.e. their need) then God will go before you and the need you present meets the champion’s need not just yours. In this case it will hardly need to be “sold”.
Let’s take helping orphans as an example. You are trying to raise money for your orphanage. So the tactics could be to show starving, lonely children. The tactic being, show the kids and the funds will come. I talked with a group that even flew the kids from a Majority World Culture to the states and paraded them to churches to raise money. It worked, short-term. The problem was, in two years they had lost momentum. They could not sustain the sympathy. So they were trying to find a new group of kids to fly to the states for another ‘tour’.
But if raising money for orphans is not just about you or the kids, but also the giver and his need, how would this change the tactic? Does the Bible not tell us to take care of the orphan? Is this need being meet by the local church or the members sitting in the church that day? The ministry to orphans is not just about the kids, it is also about the listener’s need to answer the call of God to serve children. So now the strategy changes to reflect the biblical need of the believer to get involved in the lives of orphans. It moves to an all-encompassing need. The children have needs, the agency designed to reach them has needs, and the listener has a need to obey the command of God to serve.
Now giving is fulfilling the champion’s need to obey and be a part of ministry.
The strategy moves from closing the deal to get the sale, to meeting the need of all involved.
We have moved from a transactional exchange to lives being transformed. The giver is now as blessed as the receiver.
Rev. Todd Eckhardt is the Vice-President of Homeland Ministries for World Gospel Mission. He has served in ministry for more than 20 years. During this time he has pastored, taught and headed up mobilization and funding for WGM. In the past several years Todd has been trained in the principles of Transformational Giving and now trains missionaries and church leaders in these principles.
Todd blogs in the application of Transformational Giving Principles at the "Lessons from Zarapheth" blog.
He is also a regular contributer to articles on this website.