HONORING PARENTS AND FAMILY WHILE RAISING SUPPORT

“You’re an embarrassment to the family – you shouldn’t be begging, looking for a handout!” I was stunned by my aunt’s exclamation as we ate lunch at a restaurant near her retirement community. Clearly, she didn’t understand my lifestyle of missionary support raising, nor did she agree. She made it plain that she would not participate in my financial support. I was taken aback by her negative response to my recent decision to do missions work and depend upon church, friends, and family for financial support. I went to the Lord after this painful interaction and sensed that He understood […]

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LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY JEWISH FATHER AND MOTHER

At 7:30 a.m. on May 14, I got one of those dreaded calls. It was my brother, Steve, “Mom was taken to the hospital at 2:30 this morning and is very ill.” My 90-year-old mother, Ida, passed away at 11 that evening. I was in Orlando training 44 new staff members. I quickly packed my car and drove through the night. Steve and I got on our phones to take care of the things you have to do when someone passes away. When you experience loss, you reflect on life. Mom’s parents, Morris and Bessie, immigrated to the U.S. in […]

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RAISING PERSONAL SUPPORT DOESN’T WORK?

A few weeks ago a ministry leader told me, “Raising personal support doesn’t work except in the upper-middle class among white evangelicals with disposable income.” More and more voices agree. The criticism is: You must have a large personal network. People in your network must have a heart for ministry, high disposable income, and understand monthly giving. It takes too much time. A nationally known pastor told me, “It is too bad you Navigators have to spend so much time in fundraising rather than ministry.” Personal support aligns donors to the missionary rather than the organization. I hear these criticisms. […]

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17 YEARS IN BONDAGE: ONE MAN’S JOURNEY TO SUPPORT RAISING FREEDOM

Allen took a deep breath, nervously stood up in front of the entire ministry staff, and made a bold proclamation. Looking up to God, then at his surprised wife at his side, and finally at the 250 other eyeballs staring at him, he cried out, “I have been underfunded and limping along for 17 years. I’m so sorry. I make a covenant today, once and for all, to God, my wife and kids, and to all of you. I take total responsibility for getting my family and ministry to full budget—and staying there the rest of our lives!” But before […]

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FIVE KEYS TO CASTING A CLEAR VISION

How clear is your ministry vision? Is it 20:20? Or is it closer to 20:200?! The most important piece of our support raising is the crystal clear sharing of our ministry vision with our prospective donors. Here are five keys that will bring much needed clarity to your primary role in support raising—that of being a vision caster: Results, not strategies, speak to people’s hearts! It is easy to talk about all our grand ministry schemes and ideas, but lose sight of actual results. Changed lives are what really matter to our prospective partners! Yes, vision casting is about painting […]

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REPENTANCE AND FUNDRAISING

The season of Lent begins this month. These forty days before Easter were set aside by the early church as a time of reflection and repentance. It is a period when we as Christ-followers acknowledge our brokenness and journey with Him to the Cross, where we are made whole again. Engaging in the ancient spiritual discipline of repentance over the next six weeks can significantly impact not just our souls, but also our support raising. As I coach folks in fundraising, I’ve become convinced there are two pervasive attitudes from which we as North Americans need to repent if we […]

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LEVERAGE YOUR MINISTRY FOR KINGDOM IMPACT

Bryan works for a large mission organization and spends some of his days in a small dark room making copies of DVD’s. Imagine Bryan on a support appointment: Prospective partner: Bryan, tell me what you do in your ministry. Bryan: I sit in a small dark room and make DVD’s for Jesus. Prospective partner: Hmm, I see. Bryan: Would you support my ministry? It is not hard to imagine the outcome of that conversation. The odds of this person joining Bryan’s ministry are pretty slim. However, imagine if Bryan’s conversation went something like this: Prospective partner: Bryan, tell me what […]

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MY TOP FIVE LIST OF “SPECIAL ASKS”

Howard owns a successful real estate company buying and managing office buildings. Consequently, he has a steady stream of individuals laying out for him “can’t miss” investment opportunities, attempting to convince him to lay down the big bucks to help finance their ten story condo project. The answer is almost always “no”. But Julia, a 30 year old single girl heading into missions, presented a different kind of project to Howard—and he was fascinated. Julia had met him at church and called for an appointment. When she shared her presentation with Howard, asking for his investment dollars, it had a […]

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THREE THINGS YOUR DONORS WON’T TELL YOU

1. I wish you were a better writer (i.e. I don’t read your letters much). When I see your newsletter in the pile on the kitchen counter I cringe. As your giving partner I should be thrilled to read your letter, but I know from experience it’s like wading through wintry slush. Often, I barely browse through them. Sorry. Why? Here’s a list of reasons I wouldn’t tell you either, but since you asked: You use names of people I don’t know or care about. You summarize your schedule rather than telling me about changed lives. Your letters are more […]

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DEVELOPING AN “ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE”

I keep bumping into people and circumstances that remind me of this greatly overlooked and misunderstood critical piece in the support raising “puzzle”. I’m talking about thankfulness. Without growing in our understanding and discipline of expressing thanks to donors, we will not have the support we need, both in prayer and finances. If we handle the little things well, Jesus will entrust to us more (Matthew 25). This applies to how we handle donations to our ministry. If we’re faithful with the little things, like a simple thank you to our donors, more will be given to us. If we […]

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Support Raising Solutions
PO BOX 3556
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