Subsidizing Staff Salaries: Does it Help or Hurt?

The leaders of Campus Challenge* were so anxious to get their new staff to their ministry assignments that they held an emergency meeting on how they could bypass the sometimes long and laborious support raising process. The President (who was on salary) proposed the re-routing of a recent 150K gift to go instead toward subsidizing new staff salaries. The HR director (also on salary) quickly calculated the percentages and yelled excitedly, “We can cover 60% of their first year salary, 30% of the second, and by the third they should all be at full support!” A Regional Director (who’s never […]

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Big Visions Require Big Dollars: Principles from Nehemiah

Years ago, a friend of mine was working for a prominent businessman who invited my friend to join him in an appointment with Dr. Bill Bright, President of Campus Crusade. In that meeting, Dr. Bright asked this businessman for one million dollars to help fund worldwide evangelism projects. Even though my friend knew this businessman did not currently have the funds, he committed to Dr. Bright to give the requested amount. Later I learned there were almost 250 other individuals who had also committed at least one million, and Crusade dubbed this group of sacrificial investors: “History’s Handful.” How do […]

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Taking the Leap of Faith: From Job to Full-Time Support Raising

Eric was at a crossroads in his life. He was a successful businessman with a growing family who had been persuaded to take a class about God’s heart for the nations called “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”…and he was deeply touched. He wrestled for months with whether the Lord was calling him into missions before discussing it with his pastor and exploring opportunities with various agencies. Eric studied the mission websites and talked with reps from different ministries. He was drawn to apply to several organizations, except for one small detail in the fine print—almost all of them required […]

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Placing Priority on Support Training: It Shows You Care

Blindsided. That’s the only word I can think of to describe my experience. It was supposed to just be a short workshop I was doing for the 25 or so staff from the local chapter of this international Christian ministry. But within seconds of my closing prayer I was mobbed by 10-15 crying and emotionally charged young men and women. It soon became obvious their frustration, stress, feelings of failure and guilt were not their fault—but thoughtlessly thrust upon them by their ministry leaders. For years, the leaders of this ministry set incredibly high goals for their staff in the […]

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Asking Non-believers for Support: Is it Wrong?

Brad came to Christ in college and instantly started growing. It wasn’t long until he wanted to join a summer missions team to India. The only problem? He was required to raise $3500 and he didn’t have a home church, Christian family or friends. The only people he knew were his fraternity brothers. Sometimes fraternities do service projects to earn money to give to charitable causes. So Brad asked them if they would donate those funds to his mission trip. They agreed, as did two other houses he asked, and he was off to India. When Brad returned, he gave […]

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Jesus: Did He Really Live on Personal Support?

Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God . The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. (Luke 8: 1-3)    This is unbelievable. It’s hard enough to imagine the Son of God, King of kings and Lord of lords, would lower […]

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Asking for Referrals: A Key to Multiplying Your Contacts

Olga was a 24 year old Campus Crusade staff girl I met during the year our family spent in Ukraine reaching out to college students. She was later assigned to come to America and raise $2700 in new monthly support that would cover her needs and two other national staff. She knew no one here and had only a 21 day visa. So, a Crusade staffer here made a deal with Olga. He would give her 40 “referrals” to start her support raising activities with if she would give him 40 new ones on her way out of the country. […]

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

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 […]

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The Role of the CEO: Raising Organizational and Personal Support

All of us have values; some good, some not so good. As a leader though, I can’t think of a higher value than this: I will not require or even ask another staff person to do something that I myself am not doing. Some call this “modeling”, and following this value builds respect, credibility, and morale. When a leader chooses to ignore this principle, arrogance and a sense of privilege can set in—eroding trust, sacrifice, and teamwork among the staff. Maybe it’s the difference between the war general who sits back on top of the hill directing his troops versus the […]

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Crossing the River of DeNial: Why it’s so Hard to Change Ourselves

Flying from London to Nairobi in a 767 is quite an experience. If the expanse of that mammoth plane doesn’t take your breath away, peering down on the terrifying terrain will. After gazing at a thousand miles of Sahara Desert, the gigantic and intimidating Nile River suddenly came into view, cutting a huge swath through the vast African continent. Eyes staring and mind racing, I couldn’t imagine someone attempting to cross the Nile, much less the Sahara.    Some call trying to conquer the most fearsome parts of nature “extreme sports.” I call it a “death wish!” After failing to jump […]

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