Back to the Future: Can Old Friends Become New Supporters?

By on June 1, 2007   /   2 Comments

Stevie Hargett. What a guy. We had an unbeatable tandem in 4th grade YMCA football—one would block, while the other would carry the ball. I have such fond memories of Stevie and all the touchdowns we teamed up on. The only problem is—I haven’t talked to him in over 40 years!

Now, what if I were launching out on a personal fundraising tour and some crazy support raising trainer told me to write down EVERY PERSON I HAVE EVER KNOWN IN MY LIFE on my namestorming list? And then he challenges me to go back and try to re-connect with old friends like Stevie, asking them to come onto my monthly support team. What would I think of this idea, you ask?

I would think he had totally lost his mind!

The exact moment I call and Stevie picks up the phone and I start into my “let’s catch up” talk, he will suspect I want something—probably to sell him insurance! This fear is a real one, but it does not have to keep us from attempting to re-connect with friends 5-10-20-30, yes even 40 years ago. I bet if you really brainstormed you could come up with 1,000 people you’ve met during your lifetime. I doubt you are keeping up with 100 of them. If you do go back to reconnect with the other 900— and they say “no thanks”—what have you lost? Nothing!

If you do reconnect with the other 900 people you know and they say “No thanks,” what have you lost? Nothing!

Look up the addresses and phone numbers of every elementary, junior/senior high, college friend, etc… you’ve ever had and compose a “pre-call” letter to each. After a personalized greeting and intro paragraph, briefly catch them up on your growing up years, conversion to Christ, family, job, and how God has now led you into ministry.

Some thoughts I would include in my “pre-call” letter:

    As you can tell my life has changed and I’m excited, but nervous, about my calling into college ministry. I feel like Evel Knievel peering over the Grand Canyon, about to attempt a jump with my motorcycle! There will be 4,500 freshmen invading our campus August 15th, and I want to be there to befriend them and lead them to Christ. This is the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced, and I’m trusting God, but I also realized… I need help!
    My organization requires me to raise all of my personal and operational expenses before I can launch my ministry, and so I’ve been praying and thinking of key individuals who have had a part in my life over the years. So at this critical juncture I’m going back to the very roots of my life and asking old friends to allow me to share with them the ministry vision and financial goals the Lord has laid before me. Steve, I know it’s been decades since we have seen each other, but at one time in our lives you meant something to me and I meant something to you. You may or may not be willing or able to join me and invest in this new venture, but it would be an honor to get to share my story with you—and to catch up after all these years! I would like to give you a call next week and see if there might be a time to meet. I look forward to re-connecting.

Now, is that so scary?
Yes, they might say no,
but what could happen?
An old friend becoming a new supporter!


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