In a world where information and news stories travel the globe in seconds, people become overwhelmed with the barrage of needy situations they read about in the news. They can feel tired of giving when the needs never end and maybe even feel like their contribution does so little in a world that needs so much.
"I feel guilty when I don't give," says Sarah, "and yet when I do decide to give, I want to know that my money goes to a healthy ministry. There are so many needs. I don't know which one to contribute to and which to avoid." Sarah's experience isn't unique. With hurricane relief, poverty abroad, and economic crises in nearly every news cycle, people become numb to the needs of the world around them and unsure of how to respond.
Here are some tips for avoiding donor fatigue and maximizing your potential donation.
Pray about it. Let God lead your decisions. Be open to what he wants you to support and how much he wants you to give.
Do your homework. Before making a donation, find out whether the organization has a reputation for using funds wisely. Ask whether they promote healthy relationships in the host country and avoid creating relationships of dependency.
Clarify your motivations for giving. Don't just give because you feel guilty. Choose a ministry you believe in and want to get behind.
Work within your budget. That means you should first have a budget and make giving a regular part of it. A spontaneous, one-time gift can assuage guilt and make you feel good for a time, but regular giving can really make a long-term impact.
Stay connected throughout the year. Don't just give and run. If you choose a cause you believe in and an organization that is making a difference in that cause, you can pay attention to their work and be involved throughout the year.
Give with friends. Get others who are passionate about the same things as you to get involved in giving with you. There's power in numbers, and it's powerful to feel connected to a community of people who feel like you do about a ministry.
As we approach the end of the year, remain strong in your commitment to support the ministries you love. Just as a runner competing in a race must remain strong throughout the race and not give in to fatigue as the finish line grows near, so we must remain strong throughout our race, not giving in to the temptation to slack up in our giving at the end of the year or when things get tight.
At OneIN, we appreciate our faithful donors and those who support us through prayer. Thank you for your passion for the poor and for those who do not know Christ, and thank you for your continued support!
Pray for opportunities to give and wisdom to know the best way to do so.
Pray for the poor who are struggling to provide for their families this winter.
Pray for those affiliated with OneIN and other non-profit organizations as they hope to finish strong at the end of the year.
Pray for the church around the world as they reach out to those who do not know the love of Christ.
Pray for future OneIN projects and the continued support from those who care about the poor.