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Ideas, Inspiration, and Tools for Christian Workers Who Raise Ministry Support

What is a Major Donor? Featured

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Does a big gift make you a major donor?

Maybe. If all we want are donors and their money, then I guess a major gift would make you a major donor.

But if we want more than money and giving is about transformation and people, then big dollars are not the only standard of measurement.

In Transformational Giving donors become more than ATM’s, donors become champions of the cause. If this is the case then big gifts and big champions are not necessarily equal.

Let's take a look at the story in 1 Kings 17 of the widow at Zaraphath.    Elijah travels to the town of Zaraphath during a period of drought, and meets a widow there who he asks for help.

While in Zarephath, we see the widow did not have much to give. In fact her gift was small and it only appeared to be one meal worth in the midst of a drought.

It was certainly not major gift by traditional standards.

However, it was major for her.

The small gift may not seem major to the mission or church, but it may be to the giver and to God.

Let’s try this: do not categorize the champion of the cause according to the size of the gift.

What if instead we looked at the champion based on his/her involvement and ownership of the cause?

Let me ask this question for us to discuss:  

A while back my office received a LARGE gift for a project. One donor helped us hit the half way mark of the goal with this single gift. We followed up the gift by offering this donor work team opportunities, chances to meet and greet the missionary, prayer opportunities, etc. The giver graciously declined any further involvement. They just wanted to help this project and that was all.

Was it a major gift?   Absolutely yes.

Was it a Major champion?  I think not.

If you said, “No” to this donor being a major champion, how should this answer change your efforts to fund your ministry?

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Todd Eckhardt


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.