Are You Bulldozing Your Appointments?

As a rookie support raiser, I was somehow able to get appointments before I had received much training. I’m not sure if that was a blessing or not. Why? Because getting an appointment is not the same thing as knowing what to do once in the appointment. I didn’t have a clear cut well planned out presentation, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that bother me. I was like a bulldozer, driven to overwhelm a potential supporter with my vision and clarity for what God was leading me to do for His glory. I had done […]

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Three Fundraising Culs-de-sac: Extremely logical half-truths that take you in circles

Adapted from Scott’s book: Blindspots: Leading Your Team and Ministry to Full Funding Funding coaches and leaders need to be alert for three subtle fundraising “sayings.” These half-truths seem logical, but following them leads into a cul-de-sac. Let’s dive in! Cul-de-sac #1: “Money follows visibility.” Years ago a well-known Evangelical conference and radio speaker lamented: “Our funding keeps going down even though I am speaking more and sending over 1,000 newsletters.” But few people give merely because you are visible to the public eye. Your potential donors go to bed at night wondering about their text messages or how to […]

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Partnership or Handout?

My biggest struggle when I first sensed God calling me into ministry was fundraising. I just could not see myself with a degree in mining engineering passing on a job in order to ask people for handouts. I equated fundraising to begging. Is there a difference between fundraising for a gospel ministry and begging? Part of my struggle was right in front of me as I drove in my car. Every time I stop at the Manda Hill traffic lights on Great East Road in Lusaka, I can’t help but notice the different people trying to make a living at […]

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Shining Light on the Lies

If you are doing God’s work, the devil will try to get you to not do it, using whatever tactics he can. And one of his favorite tactics is lies. Just look at Genesis 3:1-5 to see how he tempts Adam and Eve using lies. His tactics haven’t changed much since then. Lies love to show up along with the other challenges of support raising. If we aren’t diligent in fighting them and training our staff to fight them, these lies can sideline the staff we are leading. Here’s a battle plan for fighting the lies that show up to […]

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Funding Principles Go Beyond Borders

The perception exists in some Non-Westerners that the West are “rich,” and so it is easy for them to support Non-Western missionaries. This perception is fed in part by a misconception of financial realities in both cultures and currency values relative to local economies. Just as it is not true that all Westerners are rich, it is not true that there are no resources in Non-Western countries. People work and generate wealth and can give towards the work of advancing the gospel. In any culture, people have to be presented with a clear vision and a clear invitation to give. […]

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Mobilize More: More Prayer, More Partners, More Praise

Are your staff people raising money…or are they mobilizing? Most Christian workers drudge through personal support raising as a “have to”, a necessary evil, a painful and unpleasant pathway to get to their ministry assignment. What if, as one of their ministry leaders, you could help your staff see the ministry of personal support raising (aka Ministry Partnership Development) as not about money, but about mobilization? You see, there’s an eternal reason the Lord has given each of your staff an ever growing network of friends, family, and churches. The bigger purpose behind it all is that He desires to […]

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Burden vs. Load: Living in the Tension as a Coach

In Galatians 6:2 Paul says, “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” This makes sense to our idea of biblical community. But a few short verses later in Galatians 6:5, he says, “Each one should carry his own load.” So, what’s the deal? Are we to help each other, or is each person supposed to take care of his own stuff? Looking at the Greek meaning helps us find the distinction. In verse 2, “burden” refers to that which someone cannot take care of on their own. The word translated “load” in […]

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Where Are the African-American Missionaries?

There are some unique barriers many African-Americans face as it relates to fundraising. Shortage of resources, limited network of relationships, pressure from family, not understanding the traditional fundraising practices and how those practices translate in their cultural context, scarcity of models or mentors, just to name a few. How about not being enlightened by the history of African-Americans engaged in missions? Could this impact the ability for an African-American to raise sustainable funding? Absolutely! If there are others who have gone before you who are similar to you or of the same ethnicity, having shared comparable experience, this can provide […]

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Coaching S.M.A.R.T. Support Raisers

You may have previously heard that I was a failed support raiser for a few years before I attended an SRS bootcamp. I wasn’t even able to raise 25% of our need, and I felt like a terrible failure. There were many reasons for this, but a big one was that I didn’t have any plans for how to use my time, and how to chart my success outside of actual money given. I hadn’t built a good list of contacts, I didn’t know how to ask for referrals, I made too few calls and averaged too few appointments, among […]

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The 5 Worst Questions You May Be Asked During a Support Appointment

When starting a Q and A time with a group I always seem to say, “There are no bad questions, only bad answers.” But as it relates to our support appointments, I’m not so sure. I certainly want to give every person I meet with the chance to ask whatever they want to, but occasionally those questions can be quite gut-wrenching! Here’s a sampling of some of the real “doozies” you might be presented with on the support trail with a suggested script that might aid you as you prayerfully think of a good response. Here we go. Buckle up! […]

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