Inspiring Generosity


Asking for Money is Scary

  You can do it! Don't be scared!   A.Umansky @upsplash

Back in the dark ages when I was in Junior-High MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship), our youth leaders thought it would be a great idea for us to see the latest Christian movie that was all the rage: A Thief in the Night.

The 1972 low-low-low (I mean really low)-budget horror classic had it all: A clock ominously ticking! A lawn mower running with no one there! A wife waking to find her husband…gone! Best of all - killer snakes!
Full of awful theology about the rapture, it scared the bejesus out of us. And that was the point…to literally terrify us into “accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior.”

By all those post-movie altar calls, it seemed to achieve its goal – at least in the short run. No kid wanted to be “left behind” as Larry Norman plaintively sang. Not me, that’s for sure. I’m pretty certain I asked Jesus into my life four times that summer. What a way to get to heaven.
I still have nightmares about that movie.
Maybe asking for money gives you nightmares.
I’m here to say, that’s legit. You’ve been told, ad nauseum, why you shouldn’t ask for money.
- It’s rude
- You’re self-serving
- It’s private
- It’s unbecoming
- If you had more faith, you wouldn’t need to ask
These voices come at you naturally and primarily because you’ve seen it done so badly over the years. You’ve watched the tele-evangelists cry and beg. You’ve seen sad children and puppies on late night TV commercials and feel manipulated. You’ve experienced someone who stumbles over their words, embarrassed (maybe even ashamed?) that they’re asking you for money.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Let’s say you want to ask a few people to help fund a building project or a new ministry your congregation or organization is dreaming about.
What’s the scariest part?

Picking up the phone and calling.
I have been in situations where I’ve found a million other things I should be doing instead of picking up the phone to make The Call.
Wait! The dishes need to be unloaded.
Oops! I should iron all my pre-COVID skirts that I never wear anymore, maybe even my sheets.
Well, I’ll be! My desk is a mess and so is my recipe file.
Yes, I’ve been there.
Guess what?
Once you punch in those numbers and hear the person you’re calling on the other end…
- someone who is anticipating your call (because you’ve sent a letter or an email in advance)
- someone who likes you
- someone who wants you (and your ministry) to succeed
…you can take a breath and relax.
The conversation can start flowing naturally and without embarrassment because you know that what you’re asking for benefits others, your community, and maybe even the world. You know that in all probability the person you’re talking to wants to be in partnership with you.
They too want to benefit others, their community, and the world.
So, I’m here to affirm that yes, it’s scary to ask for money. But I’m also here to say that the fear can be overcome, and it is well worth it.
Don’t you or your ministries be…left behind. Be assured. Be brave. Make the call.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. For 25 years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she has helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Don’t want to take an hour and watch the Academy Award-worthy “A Thief in the Night”?  Well, she invites you to watch the trailer, instead. Putting it mildly, it’s a trip. You can reach Cesie at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.