By Abigail Miller
Special to Inside The Pew
Editor’s Note: Abigail Miller is manager of crowdfunding and social media at Wheat Ridge Ministries. WeRaise is a Christian crowdfunding site, hosted by Wheat Ridge Ministries. Wheat Ridge provides start-up funding and resources to new health and human care ministries around the world. Christian organizations use WeRaise to share their ministry project details, spread the word, and raise funds – all online!
Why did you create your business?
“We built WeRaise as a tool for inspired Christian leaders to raise funds and support for their ministry ideas. Our long term vision is to provide additional grant funding to innovative projects launched with WeRaise that are positioned to scale, replicate, or expand. We want WeRaise to be a tool, which is why, unlike many crowdfunding sites, we don’t take any portion of the funds raised. Our hope is that WeRaise allows leaders to be innovative, creative, and intentional when it comes to addressing the needs in their community.”
What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?
“One verse that captures the essence of WeRaise is 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” We know that each community is different – the leaders, the people, and the needs. It is encouraging and inspiring to see the brilliant, selfless ways people use the gifts they’ve received from God to serve those around them. Crowdfunding uses the gifts of the whole community – from donors and their financial resources, to project teams and their social networks, to organizations who give energy and commitment, to Wheat Ridge staff members who help the process run smoothly. WeRaise equips people of all ages to put 1 Peter 4:10 into action.”
Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?
“Seek counsel and support! When we work with WeRaise project leaders, this is one of our key pieces of advice. Crowdfunding is a group effort – not just in fundraising, but in planning as well. As projects are created, we encourage the leaders to establish a prayerful, committed team to work through the entire process together. Together you can seek God’s will, encourage one another, and hold each other accountable.
“Another piece of advice is to be confident in what God is calling you to do! If it is on your heart, it might be time to take a step out in faith. We have seen many successful ministries come out of a small nudge that someone heeded. God can do big, life-changing things through just about anything – no matter how small, insurmountable, or just plain crazy it may seem to you right now.
Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?
“WeRaise currently boasts a higher project success rate and higher average donation rate than the industry average. We think this is due to the nature of the crowdfunded projects. The passion behind the projects is inspiring, and donors are eager to give to leaders who bring health and hope in the name of Christ.
As an organization, Wheat Ridge has had the honor of seeding many ideas that have grown to become amazing ministries. A few organizations that began with funding from Wheat Ridge include:
- Stephen’s Ministries: https://www.stephenministries.org/
- Parish Nursing Movement: http://www.parishnurses.org/
- K-9 Comfort Dogs, Lutheran Church Charities (as seen on the TODAY show): http://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/
- Lutheran Volunteer Corp: http://www.lutheranvolunteercorps.org/
- Phil’s Friends: http://www.philsfriends.org/
- A Ban Against Neglect: http://www.aban.org/
- And many more!