Fundraising Part 3 (ATN Issues)
If you have spent any time volunteering with a nonprofit, working for an organization that had to raise funds to survive, or if you support a ministry or charity then you know that fundraising is and will always be necessary. I sometimes wonder if people see us coming and want to run the other way or if people get tired of hearing about All Things New and our children. One of the hardest aspects of fundraising from my (Matt) personal perspective is probably pride. I do not like have to rely on other people or ask other people to support us. The funny thing about relying on other people for a ministry like this is that at some point it ceases to be “our ministry” and becomes “OUR ministry” meaning that everyone who helps and supports All Things New is a part of what GOD is doing in Haiti. GOD removed the pride that I felt and showed me that this is His ministry and He will bring the people that He wants! I also don’t like that we have to schedule our trips home around fundraising more than anything else, but it is part of the territory. We have to ask and we have to communicate what our ministry is and does with as many people as possible. Today I want to write about some of the specific issues that All Things New runs into when it comes to fundraising. Some of them are small and easily overcome while some of them seem like they will be with us forever. I also want to close with some different ways that individuals and groups could help us in our attempt to fundraise. I will try to be as brief as possible but also explain the reasons behind these things. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have after reading the blog.
- Bringing multiple months of operating expenses in advance. Banks in Haiti, from our experience, can be dangerous. For this reason, we do not wire money down, but we bring cash with us when we travel to cover all of our monthly operating costs (salaries, food, school, etc.). For this reason, we normally need to have 3-5 months of operating expenses in our reserves (approximately $8,000/month). (ie. When we go to Haiti next Wednesday, we need sponsorship money for Sept-Dec and we do not have that in our reserves!)
- Living in Haiti and fundraising in America. While many organizations have people who focus on fundraising full-time and others who focus on running the business full-time, Jess and I do both. As we grow, we hope that this will not be the case, but for now this is one thing that can make fundraising difficult.
- Fundraising for the organization and personal support. Probably most people on the mission field are tasked with raising funds for their own salary and benefits while the organization takes care of everything else. In our case, we are the primary fundraisers for ourselves as well as the operational expenses for All Things New.
- A desire to move forward. Our desire is to move forward with the ministry of All Things New. We will always take care of our children (and in some ways these next steps will help with that) but we do not want to grow stagnant. Please click here to read about the new areas of ministry that we hope to move into soon, but we do have a desire to move into other aspects of ministry to help our community, and we have to raise funds above and beyond our orphanage costs to make this happen.
Ways to Help
- Pray. No matter what else you do to help All Things New, we need your prayers. It is only through the power of Christ that anything good happens, so please join us in seeking after that power.
- One-time Gifts. If there are things that you would like to help us purchase in Haiti or if you just received a bonus or tax refund and want to give to help us, we welcome those donations, just click here!
- Support the ATN missionaries. While we fundraise for the organization as a whole, we also fundraise for our own salary. If you would like to give a tax-decutible gift specifically to support Jess and I, please click here.
- Host Fundraising Events. While we have 2 big fundraising events every year, we would love to have some additional, smaller scale events as well. If you would like to host a spirit night at a Chic-Fil-A (or other restaurant), host a dessert fundraiser, or any other idea that you have that could help us with fundraising and with getting the word out about our ministry, please click here and let us know.
While there are many other ways to get involved, and we will be communicating those soon, it is important now that we have fundraising opportunities when we come home in October to work on the business side of All Things New. Starting October 1, we want to schedule as many fundraising events as possible for the month of October and November and WE NEED YOUR HELP! We do not want to be gone from our kids as much as we have been, but right now it is necessary. In light of that, we ask that you begin thinking of ways that you can help us get in front of new supporters, businesses, and churches/small groups to get the word out about All Things New!