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The Odd Line From the Bible Increases Response Rate From Christians, But What About Non-Christians?

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I have read many a post, article or heard words of wisdom that people who partake in religious activities tend to be slightly more generous than those that don’t.  It is hard to get concrete data to back that up in Australia, but a quick look at any big picture giving data from the USA (like Giving USA) certainly backs up this theory.

In Australia, the USA, UK, and Canada by far and away the largest majority of donors who worship are Christians. But those countries have all got substantial non-Christian communities as well – atheists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and more.

The odd line of scripture or quote from the Bible is said to increase response rate from Christians, but how do you do that without putting off non-Christians?

One approach is to look at some of the Bible lines or sayings (or interpretations of sayings) that have come into everyday use.  Many Christians will relate to the sayings, but non-Christians are unlikely to recognise the saying as a quote from the Bible.  Provided it is a good quote, in context, and helps the appeal it is therefore likely to have a net positive impact.

I have never seen this tested but it all makes sense.

Here are ten such sayings that you should be able to weave into copy without causing problems.  Note, they are not all direct quotes – some are alluded to.

“It is like the blind leading the blind!” (Matthew 15:14).

“Going the extra mile” (Matthew 5:41).

“Wash my hands of it” (Reference to Pontius Pilate at Jesus’ trial. Matthew 27:24).

“Salt of the earth” (Jesus’ words at Matthew 5:13).

“Written in stone” (Moses and the stone tablets – the 10 commandments at Exodus 31:18).

“Turn the other cheek” (Jesus’ words. Matthew 5:39).

“It is better to give than receive” (Jesus’ words recorded at Acts 20:35).

“It’s like feeding the 5000!” (Reference to the miracle of Jesus at Matthew 14:13-21).

“Nothing but skin and bones” (Job 19:19-20).

“United we stand, divided we fall” (Matthew 12:25).

For more Bible sayings that could be useful click here.

Find out how you can communicate effectively with any type of donor, whether they are Christian or non-Christian, by checking out our Supporter Connection Survey Course. It’s available for all members of The Fundraisingology Lab.


  • Sean Triner

    Sean Triner is a Co-Founder of Moceanic and Pareto Group. With over three decades of experience in fundraising and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in mathematics, Sean has a wealth of fundraising expertise to share with Moceanic members and blog readers. He is also a coach and available for bookings on the Coaching+ program for fundraisers to help answer your questions and work hands-on directly with you.

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