Lausanne’s fundraising philosophy and practices are based on biblical examples of fundraising found in Scripture. The five points below are the Lausanne Movement’s major guiding principles. Each principle is followed by what you can expect from Lausanne based on it.
1. Prayer is foundational for all fundraising.
When Nehemiah was informed of the conditions in Jerusalem, he began praying and fasting (Neh 1:4) and continued for three months. When he was before King Artaxerxes, the king asked Nehemiah, ‘What are you requesting?’ Before he responded, Nehemiah ‘prayed to the God of heaven’ (Neh 2:4). Then he asked the king for help.
Therefore, the Lausanne development team will pray before asking you for a gift. As in Nehemiah 1:4, we will cover our needs in prayer before asking anything; and as in Nehemiah 2:4, we will pray before making our request.
2. Asking for gifts is biblical.
God told Moses to ask the children of Israel for articles of gold, silver, bronze, yarn, fine linens, etc., for the building of the tabernacle (Exod 25:1-8). Paul asked the Corinthian church to give for the relief of the saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:1-3, 2 Cor 8, 9). There are several other examples of asking in Scripture.
Therefore, Lausanne will ask you to give. Like Moses, Nehemiah, David, Paul, and John, we will ask boldly and specifically. The Lausanne Movement will not constantly ask you to give, but we will ask with seasonal consistency, in the last two to three months of each year and at least one other time.
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3. Only those who are willing should give.
When God told Moses to take up a collection for the tabernacle, he had one criterion: ‘From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me’ (Exod 25:2b). Paul described the same standard to the church in Corinth regarding the arrangements of their gift, ‘that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction’ (2 Cor 9:5).
Therefore, Lausanne will not guilt or pressure you negatively to give. You should give only if you are willing, as moved by God. ‘No’ or ‘not now’ are valid and acceptable answers to Lausanne’s requests for funds.
4. Those who give are partners in ministry.
The church at Philippi supported Paul financially when he left them to establish the church at Thessalonica on his second missionary journey (Phil 4:16). They also supported him at Corinth, while he was in prison in Rome, and probably many times in between. As a result Paul called them his partners in ministry (Phil 1:3-8). Paul not only remembered the Philippians, but he also prayed for them with joy, held them in his heart, and yearned for them.
Therefore, you are Lausanne’s partner in ministry. Lausanne does not just ask for funds, but we ask you to be our partner. We are interdependent—Lausanne’s ministries are multiplied through our partners, and through Lausanne, your funds are multiplied in countless ways for the benefit of the global church. Only through these partnerships can we continue in our shared mission of world evangelization.
5. Accountability for the use of funds should be not only to God, but also to those who give the funds.
When Paul collected funds for the relief of the saints in Jerusalem, he set a system in place to make sure the gift was ultimately used for the intended purpose (1 Cor 8:20-21). Paul arranged for several trusted church leaders to receive the collection and travel with him to Jerusalem to deliver it to the church.
Therefore, Lausanne will always be accountable to God and also to you and to an independent board of directors, to spend the gifts entrusted to our stewardship wisely for their intended purpose. Lausanne adheres to the financial standards of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).
The Lausanne Movement has other biblical principles that guide our fundraising practices, including the funds that are requested, the way financial partners are treated, and our attitude in asking. Also, the Lausanne Movement is a fully-accredited member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Accreditation is based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance, and ethical fundraising.
If you have questions or observations about our fundraising practices or the principles that guide us, please do not hesitate to contact us. We welcome your feedback by email at [email protected].