Four Ways to rally People for a Cause

Yesterday, I received a very unique question from a dear friend that lives up North (via my Facebook inbox). He is planting a Church, and has gotten involved in his community (especially the School System). His plant's recent outreach goal includes adopting a school and providing uniforms, book bags, and school supplies for 600+ students (which is a wonderful thing for a Church to do). He estimated that it would take around $5,000.00 to resource each student in this inner-city school. He’s pumped! However, his church plant has had very little success in rallying people or raising funds. I know what it feels like to have a worthy goal in your heart, and lack the resources to pull it off.  This is his tension, and the reason he sent me the question. He asked,

"How did you go about getting corporate/business donors for your initiatives?"

When I read this email, I was shocked he asked me. There are many people in the world who are doing large-scale initiatives, raising millions of dollars, and are wiser than myself. If fact, I am not an expert at fundraising. However, I have been gifted to rally people around causes and outreaches. 

I've never written a blog on this topic, or shared any principles with anyone on how our team has rallied people (in times past). But today that ends! Rallying people is something I learned from failure (and has become second nature to me). "Failure" taught me to ask myself four questions when approaching an initiative or outreach (which in turn make up the Four Ways to rally People for a Cause).

Firstly, I ask myself "who do I know?" This question pushes me to think of all the people I know with skill-sets or influence in certain areas that would be a resource to the initiative or outreach. The second question I ask myself is, "Where can I go?" This question pushes me to think of places I could go and ask for sponsorship(s) (most times these are places that I have no prior relationship with). The third question I ask myself is "Who around me has a heart for this?" This question pushes me be aware of people around us who we could partner with. These people already are on fire for the type of thing I want to plan. Fourth and last, I ask myself "Where is God moving?" This question makes me aware of where God is working around me, and how He is working for me.

These four questions translates into the Four principles below (the same principles I shot back to my friend via Facebook). I believe everyone could apply these simple principles to rally people around an outreach, project, or initiative (my answer to him):

  1. Leverage the relationship(s) you have already-Many people around you work for companies, and/or have relationships with people who can make things happen (Marketing, Sponsorships, Ideas, etc..)
  2. Cold contacts-Never be scared to walk into an unfamiliar place, share your vision, and establish a "new" relationship (This is the greatest tool I've used to meet new people).
  3. Rally people around you (volunteers) to look for opportunities-Your greatest asset are people. People who are pumped about your vision, will help you advance your vision (Give people a platform, and empower them to take ownership).
  4. Pray like a warior-This is the first and last thing you do. God has a funny way of answering prayers (sometimes in the strangest ways). Pray before you plan and strategize, while you are strategizing, and after you strategize (NEVER STOP PRAYING)!