Sep 9, 2011
When we, at MIF, read a testimony like this from Kelli Gotthardt, West Regional Director of Apartment Life Ministries in Phoenix, we say, to God be the glory!
"When I accepted my current role as West Regional Director of Apartment Life, I was told that it would include a 'little' fundraising. My training consisted of these instructions: 'Get as much money as possible from the fewest people possible so you can spend your time on real ministry responsibilities.' Believe it or not, that did not prove to be a workable strategy for me and I quickly found myself wanting to clean myself off (so to speak) after these so-called donor meetings!
"I then discovered the Mission Increase Foundation, signed up to attend a training event, and did not anticipate what happened next: I was hooked immediately. The foundational concepts MIF teaches immediately resonated with my spiritual journey and core values and I soaked it up. In the months that followed, and in an effort to integrate the concepts into practice, I began meeting with Jonathan for coaching and, eventually, Jonathan helped Apartment Life secure a grant. That was when everything truly changed. I can honestly say that the biblical fundraising principles, combined with the personal coaching and the work I had to put in to match MIF’s grant funds, changed my life spiritually, emotionally and financially.
"First, financially. I read Henri Nouwen's book, The Spirituality of Fundraising, and had to take a good, hard look at how I personally viewed money and fundraising. The topic of money evokes high emotion and is the cause of much conflict in marriage and ministry. Truth be told, I had a lot of personal shame around the topic. I began to apply the principles I learned from Nouwen’s book and from MIF’s teachings to my own financial practices and I am now a much better steward of my own money, as well as of Apartment Life’s budget.
"I was also impacted emotionally. Soon after being awarded the grant from MIF, I was told by Apartment Life that I would lose my job as West Regional Director if I didn't get the matching funds raised by the end of the year. This was a challenging and difficult time for me but I got to work; I worked to match the grant funds and, through the process, learned a great deal about myself personally and professionally. This was a time of growth for me. Had I not had grant funds, I would have given up immediately, but God instead took me on a journey of facing my fears and stepping out in faith. Having grant money on the table made it impossible for me to quit trying. I found great freedom in inviting people to participate in such a high impact donation.
"I have also been impacted spiritually. God has used donor “discipleship” and fundraising to grow my relationship with Him beyond imagination. Initially, I thought I just needed to pray more but, as I was coached by Jonathan, I realized I had to actually step out in faith and be an instrument of transformation to those whom God led my way. As a result, I have developed a stronger faith, a deeper dependence on God, and more courage to obey Him. All through fundraising!
"Please know that this note doesn't do justice to my journey, but I hope it gives you a sense of my transformation. Jonathan and MIF, thanks for investing in Christian fundraising – it’s making a tremendous difference for the Kingdom!"
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