I come from sub-Saharan Africa where many Christian radio and television stations who reach about 1.1 billion people struggle to raise local support. In 2017, God led me to a media ministry called Christianityworks. Soon, I was being trained to become a Media Fundraising Consultant and Trainer among Christian media ministries and organisations in Africa.
On 5 June 2018, while attending the CMA National Conference on ‘Christian stewardship and accountability’ to get training for this work, I met Dr. Gary Hoag in Brisbane, Australia. I attended all his sessions which he delivered with such passion. They were wonderful, thought-provoking, and just what I needed! I knew he was the right guy to connect with. We had a chat during our coffee break. He prayed with me and blessed me with one of his books, The Sower.
Through my connection with Dr. Gary, I have received biblically integrated training and several free resources from GTP. The knowledge I acquired broadened my understanding. I adopted the biblical perspective as the right approach to raising Kingdom resources.
As an emerging coach and trainer, I also gained the confidence I needed to stay dedicated to God’s call and to take the teachings to various radio and TV stations at onsite training in Rwanda, Gabon, Kenya, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, and online training attended by participants from Zambia, Tanzania, and Liberia.
Understanding the biblical foundation of fundraising as a vital part of ministry has not only empowered my trainees; it has liberated them to serve as pioneers. They have moved from bondage to freedom of thought and have found courage to grow givers in their local context. It has also help them shift from a fear-based scarcity mindset to a faith-based, abundance mentality.
Mariette from Gabon is one of many with whom I’ve shared teachings from The Sower. After a training session, Mariette told me, “I had completely given up on this ministry due to burnout. I became tired of constantly making personal investment in a ministry that bears no fruit. God spoke straight to my heart. He said ‘I am with you! Get back up, and continue to run the race.’”
Today, Mariette considers it a great privilege to serve God as ‘a sower’ of truth in hearts that they are blessed to be a blessing and resourced to participate with God in His work with what they have. She is committed to raising friends and funds to sustain God’s work and to grow kingdom impact in Gabon and beyond!
I have also learned to make prayer and fasting an integral part of transformational and successful fundraising. This is about asking God to prepare the way. From there, I train pioneers to intentionally sow seeds of God’s word into people’s hearts. They are building and strengthening enduring, Christ-centered relationships, both on-air and in-person.
This has been a major cultural shift, a change of mindset, which is why I call them ‘pioneers’. While change takes time, the transition from a transactional to a transformational way of thinking that goes far beyond money has been the biggest breakthrough for these local fundraisers.
As the transition happens, fundraisers are now free to talk about money and to encourage financial giving. They have gone from ‘hating’ to enjoying fundraising and from embarrassment to boldness! They’ve begun to see God’s people give joyfully, generously, and sacrificially to God's work in their local communities.
Through my ministry, we equip and resource fundraising teams with knowledge, tools, and materials. We invite senior leaders and pastors who take on the spiritual duty of pouring biblical truths into the lives of their audience, supporters, and prospective partners at these radio and TV stations. Dr. Gary and Ereny Monir from GTP have richly resourced me to do this work more effectively.
During my coaching sessions, I always emphasise that long-term success in fundraising is closely linked to the commitment and involvement of the senior leadership. When they do the faithful work of raising up generous disciples of Christ, it results in sustainable ministry and positive outcomes.
Influential pioneers shape their context by modelling generosity. Through living generously, sharing their vision passionately, and telling testimonies of impact, it has proven to inspire people to grow as givers who give back to God with the right heart and attitude.
There are no quick fixes or magic formulas. Fundraising is work! Pioneers understand that fundraising requires people with receptive heads, transformed hearts, and willing hands, to bring forth a radical change, which increases givers and gifts for greater kingdom impact.
Every month I share practical tips and insights with these teams to encourage, provide guidance and to spark some ideas through the African Fundraising Enablement Project (AfFEP). Dr. Gary has allowed me to share The Sower and other GTP tools and templates with those I serve as well.
Through AfFEP, I assist these teams to set up and execute their Development Plan or Fundraising Strategy and to have a well-planned communication schedule that helps them to follow through with their faithful activities. I reinforce the need to remain transparent and accountable in the way they handle God’s finances, by obtaining the African Council for Accreditation and Accountability (AfCAA) seal of accreditation.
God is using these biblically integrated teachings to nurture faithful stewards who will not only offer gifts but offer themselves as well, to God’s service.
As outstanding as what I’m currently experiencing may be, I often think about the long-term impact we can have, on a whole range of ministries, through such partnerships and collaborative work. That’s what excites me – to know that together, we are helping to build a new and more secure future for Christian media across Africa, empowering them to proclaim Christ far and wide!