William Booth on Asking For Money

William Booth MoneyWilliam Booth Money

Many are familiar with George Muller’s approach to money: ask no one but God (though some might disagree with this interpretation).

William Booth went a totally different direction. He suggested to ASK and ask often!  Both men saw their prayers and obedience answered, both men saw thousands of lives transformed.  It goes to show that “one size doesn’t fit all” when it comes to fundraising your ministry.

Below is chapter 13 of William Booth’s book: The Founders Messages to Soldiers: During the years 1907-8.

Do you agree with his approach?





COMRADES AND FRIENDS, I want to say something upon a subject which is often brought before you; though not always, I fear, in the most welcome manner; and that is, Begging. The begging to which I refer is:

Begging for money to help the poor and suffering.

Begging for the cost of the Salvation War; for saving the souls of men.

Begging for the maintenance and extension of the Kingdom of God upon earth.


  1. With some it is heartlessness. They do not care what becomes of either the bodies or the souls of others.
  2. With others it is meanness. They do not like to give anything to any one, for any purpose whatever.


I must say there is some begging I do not like myself. For instance, I do not like begging that hinders more important work. Nor do I like begging that is promoted by objectionable means, such as false­hood or raffles, or other worldly methods. But when I come to the genuine thing, that is, begging for a right object, and at the right time, in a religious spirit and in a lawful manner, I confess to having no objection to begging.

I am a beggar by trade. I was apprenticed to it at fifteen years of age; that is, on the day I got converted. I have been begging ever since, and shall be begging, I expect—or, at least, I hope—till I go to the grave, and possibly forever afterwards.

I have had a measure of success in my calling; having, by the grace of God, been enabled to collect directly and indirectly as much money for the cause of Christ, the Salvation of souls, and the relief of human suffering, as any man living, or, perhaps, as any man who ever did live.


He begs by His Holy Word. He begs by His ser­vants. He is begging all the time.

Nearly all the love and service He gets from men is got by begging for it.

As a beggar, I have my Heavenly Father for a pattern and example. He is the greatest Beggar in the universe.

  1. He begs for the possession of the hearts of men. As soon as I could understand anything, God sent His Son knocking with His wounded hands at the door of my soul, begging me to give Him my heart. The Holy Spirit begs men to help Him in the discharge of His difficult task. He wants them to co-operate with Him in saving the world from sin, suffering, and Hell.
  2. He begs for the money of men. God knows that His work cannot be carried on without money.


  1. You must go on begging for the poor. You cannot leave them to perish for the want of a piece of bread. You cannot leave the wretched drunkards, or the daughters of shame, or the criminals, to die in their wickedness, when a little help will deliver them.
  2. You must beg for money to pay for the expenses connected with your Citadels, and to generally extend the Holy War.
  3. You must beg for the support of your Missions to the poor heathen, who are ignorant of the blessings provided for them.
  4. You must beg with a holy boldness. Hold up your heads, and push your claims. You have no need to blush or tremble in the discharge of His duty. If you were begging for yourselves you might be ashamed, and stammer out your request, but you are not.
  5. You must beg without growing weary. Whether you succeed or fail, whether you are blessed or cursed, you must never tire.
  6. You must beg from the rich. Remind them that what they give may bring a blessing down upon what they still enjoy.
  7. You must beg from the poor. Why should the poor of our time be denied the privilege and thereby the same blessed commendation of Jesus Christ which fell to the widow for giving her two mites, nearly two thousand years ago?
  8. You must beg from everybody. You never know who will give until you ask them.
  9. When refused, you must beg again. The reason why many do not give is because they do not think of the needs of the people either at home or abroad.
  10. And do not forget to beg from yourselves. Do not be so mean as to lay burdens on other people’s generosity which you refuse to share yourselves. It is a sin for Soldiers in any Corps to be dependent upon the gifts of others for money which they are able to supply themselves. Because you can beg money from the generous, do not make that an excuse for not putting your hand in your own pocket.
  11. Above all, you must beg for the souls of men. Beg them to be reconciled to God, to accept His mercy, to come into the Narrow Way. Beg them to go to Heaven instead of to Hell. You can do this sort of begging in the streets, in the public halls, in the trains, or anywhere else where you meet with men and women who are unsaved. And in all your begging‑
  12. Do not forget the backslider. Seek him out in his own home, and beg him to return to the God whom he has forsaken. Perhaps he will bless you. Perhaps he will curse you. But go on begging all the same.
    When Jeremiah begged the Jews to return to God, they cast him into a horrible pit. When the martyrs begged the people to believe in Jesus Christ, they burned them at the stake. When Paul proclaimed Salvation to the pagan nations, they cast him to the wild beasts. When Christ begged the Jews to come under His wings, they crucified Him on the cross.
    So go on begging men and women to kneel at the Drum, or come to the Mercy-Seat, or in some other form to seek forgiveness, so entering the family of the Great Father, and finishing up in Heaven.

    13. Beg your Comrades to be sanctified today.  Is there no one here today that needs some special blessing, which God is waiting to bestow? I beg you, not to lose it for the want of asking. What is the blessing you need? Is it forgiveness? Is it purity? Is it Fire? Is it the comfort of the Holy Spirit? Ask, and you shall receive. Go down, and ask for what you want.

Beg! beg!! beg!!! But, Oh, beg in faith, and beg just now; and then sing:

The heavenly gales are blowing,
The cleansing stream is flowing,
Beneath its waves I’m going—
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Your affectionate General,



For more stirring writings by William Booth check out our new compilation:

“The Works of William & Catherine Booth (25-in-1)”

William Booth Money Salvation Army

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