Shad-o-nomics 101: My Six-Step Homemade Plan to Get to Full Support

Growing up as the son of a businessman in Dallas, Texas, had its advantages and disadvantages. Because Dad had lived through the depression years, he instilled his “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” perspective into his three sons—of which I was the middle. Work hard, provide for your family, get to the top, and retire early were the values he spoke of and modeled to us. My two brothers majored in business with the goal of becoming millionaires by age 30. I was expected to follow suit into the work world to obtain the “American Dream” and the accompanying financial […]

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Five Essential Tools to Overcome a Disaster

Recently, I was reading an article that asked, “What are the top 5 tools that will help you survive a natural or man-made disaster?” Realizing that many in Christian ministry who are raising support seem to be teetering on the brink of disaster, I found myself taking the principles of that article and applying it to Ministry Partner Development (MPD). Here are the tools: 1. Your Brain – This is the single most important tool in any survival situation. Reading 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, I’m quick to recognize that our natural thinking does not provide the solution, but the key is […]

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Major Donors: How to Win, Keep, and Lift Them

Ministry is all about relationships. Right? If so, I’m hoping you have been, are, and will be building loads of great relationships—with all kinds of people. Reach out to those in the various schools, neighborhoods, churches, and communities you’ve been a part of. Like Paul’s commitment to “become all things to all men,” learn how to build a relational bridge to people of different faiths, races, personalities, and socio-economic levels. One reason to do this is because you never know who is going to end up earning/possessing significant resources that could be invested in the Kingdom. In other words, live […]

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How Your Giving and Debt Affects Your Support Raising

Sometimes raising more support will not solve a financial problem. Why? Because more funding cannot solve poor stewardship. Imagine sitting down with your support raising coach and after some pleasantries, your coach asks two penetrating questions. “How’s your giving, and how’s your debt?” Ouch! Are those questions too invasive for a coach to ask? Not at all. It may be uncomfortable asking these questions, but it doesn’t mean that they should not be asked! We’re training our support coaches that stewardship and support raising are connected at the hip. Not only are we to equip our staff with the skills […]

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Fundraising Pressure & Baseball Per Diem?

Lately, I’m hearing comments like these from mission staff of several organizations: “Fundraising appointments make me feel uncomfortable—especially phoning.” “If only I didn’t have to raise so much money…I didn’t sign up for this!” “I minister 60 hours per week and now the pressure of fundraising on top of it—can’t be done!” “Why can’t I be centrally funded from our main office? Then I could focus on the ministry.” So I decided to ponder the issue of fundraising pressure over lunch at a fine McDonalds restaurant. I sat in a corner booth with my “healthy fish sandwich special” and asked […]

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Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media in Support Raising

Email, Websites, Cell Phones, My Space, Facebook, Texting, YouTube, Blogging, Skyping, Tweeting, Smart Phones, Linked In, Mail Chimp, etc, etc…Where does it end? Where are we going? How can I possibly keep up? It can seem like a runaway freight train overloaded with complex technology! If you are hanging on for dear life when it comes to understanding (much less using!) all the social media options available to us, you’re not alone. Yes, those of you under 25 might feel like the proverbial kid in the candy store, but the rest of us old timers may liken it more to […]

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Keeping Givers Giving

During my early years with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), I joined a team in Mexico City passing out Bibles door-to-door. I was also asked to teach support raising to a group of missionary trainees from Guatemala – a country with very limited financial resources. Yet I believed that if God’s principles were true, then they were true worldwide, in all societies, among all peoples, in all economic situations. But those convictions were about to be tested! So I asked God, “What is the key to support raising that applies to all people?” A word came immediately to my mind: […]

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Raising Support While Already Involved in the Ministry (aka…Changing Tires on a Moving Vehicle)

Let’s all agree that the ideal for Ministry Partner Development (MPD support raising) is that it should be done completely in advance of reporting to the ministry location or beginning the ministry work if you already live there. Oh, that this was always a perfect world in which we live! Using an automotive metaphor from the world of Formula 1 or NASCAR auto racing, it would be ideal to have plenty of advance notice to prepare a high-performance racecar, equip and rehearse your pit crew, and be ready to go into the race with all the pieces in place to […]

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What Wives Wish Support Raisers Knew About Them

I have learned some hard lessons in my life, but sometimes I’m so oblivious to them they have to “knock me upside the head”—as we say in Arkansas! Even though I’ve been married almost 28 years, have two grown daughters, and work around women on a daily basis, the female gender is still a complete mystery to me! Consequently, one of the more painful messages to finally seep into my little brain is just how critical wives are to the success of our support raising. You see, in my typically-male, laser-focused, one-track mind (which of course, always thinks it’s right!), […]

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The Power of Community in Raising Support

In high school, I ran cross-country and track. Unlike football and soccer, where athletes must work together, running is more of an individual sport. One sport fosters independence, and the other dependence. Raising personal support is like one of those sports that focuses upon the individual. By its nature, raising your support propels you into isolation. You can feel like you are on your own, and this saps your energy and motivation for working on your funding. Our human nature is pulled toward independence. But as believers, we are to intentionally move from independence to dependence, from isolation to community. […]

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