So, you wanna come do a Discipleship Training School. That’s awesome! We are seriously stoked to have you come and we can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you! Or maybe you want to do a DTS but you can’t help but think: “Yep, I’m ready. But how exactly do I pay for something like this?” We get it. It’s not easy to take a step of faith. But it can be SO encouraging to see God come through!
YWAMers have story after story after story of God’s miraculous provision. As you get started in raising funds, here are a few helpful things we’ve learned over the years:
1. Pray and trust God
Sounds pretty obvious, right? But when it comes to finances, it can be so easy to try and ‘make it all happen’ on your own. All good things come from God, and ultimately, if it’s gonna happen, it’s because God came through! Let your needs be known to God and remember: He wants us to depend on him.
2. Remember that it’s okay to need others
Our culture places a high value on independence, and we like to think we have it all figured out when don’t need help from other people. But that’s not the way of God’s kingdom. We’re wired for connection and we’re built for interdependence, not independence. It may be humbling and uncomfortable at first, but it’s okay to ask others for help.
3. Have FUN in fundraising!
It’s tempting to view fundraising as a laborious chore. But here’s the thing: it can actually be really fun! One of the best ways to go about fundraising is to tap into something that you already love doing and dream up about ways you might be able to use the gifts God’s given you towards reaching your fundraising goals.
A few years ago, one of our staff organised a ‘swim-a-thon’ to raise funds for an organisation supporting refugees in the Middle East. For each lap of the pool he swam, he asked friends and family to donate a dollar. One hundred laps later, he was able to raise $7000.
What do you already love to do? Baking? Maybe host a bake sale. Are you a photographer? Maybe you could pick some of your favourite images and sell some prints. Are you a musician? Maybe host a backyard concert and ask friends to donate on the night.
We depend on God’s provision but we also get to partner with him by using what’s in our hands to do our part. So, what’s in your hands?
4. Practice gratitude
If you’ve just been given $10 towards your DTS lecture phase and you still need $4000 more, thank God for the $10! It can be so easy to look at what is still needed, but don’t forget to be grateful for the bit you already have, trusting that it’s the first seed towards all that you need.
5. Face to face communication is best
Asking others to give money isn’t easy! And you might be tempted to keep it to an email or to do all of your fundraising online. This can work but we’ve seen over time that emails or text messages are probably the least effective form of communication. Nothing is more effective than meeting potential supporters face to face.
As fellow YWAMer Kenny Jackson says: “The more critical the response, the more direct the communication.”
6. Invite others to give, but don’t force it
When you’re inviting others to give to you, they are really giving it to God. We don’t have to force or manipulate people to give, but simply extend an invitation.
When sharing your needs, it’s so much better to share from a place of excitement than a place of discouragement. Something that really invites people into partnership is knowing your story. Share about why you felt led to do DTS and what you believe God might want to do in your life through this season. Paint a picture for them! By telling your story and inviting people to join in, you’re creating an opportunity for joyful giving.
7. Practice generosity to others
If you’re working so hard to save up money, then wouldn’t it be crazy to give to others?! But if you’re asking others to be generous to you, ask God to help you to continue being generous to others. Even if it feels uncomfortable, ask God to give you the grace to cultivate a generous heart in you.
8. Keep your supporters in the loop
Once you’ve reached your goal, don’t forget those who helped you get there. When someone has given to you, it means they’re invested in YOU. As your DTS progresses, be sure to send them an update every now and then and let them know how things are going and how they can be praying for you. Be sure to thank them for their generosity over and over again!
9. Provision comes in a lot of different ways
God may call you to fundraise, or maybe he’s blessed you with a good job that’s helping you to save up. That’s great! God’s provision is going to look different for each of us. Thank God for your job and put all of yourself into the work He’s given you to do! Do everything you can and trust him to do the rest.
10. Pray and trust God
Yes, we already mentioned this one before, but it’s just that important! Stick close to God, keep your needs before him, and see what he does.
God loves you and he wants to provide for his kids. We can’t wait to see you soon. You got this! 👊🏽