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ARE YOU FULLY FUNDED OR JUST “GETTING BY”?

I once picked up a slightly inebriated hitchhiker in rural Wisconsin. As I attempted to engage him in conversation, I decided to risk asking him a rather penetrating question: “Friend, what is your life goal?” My liquor-smelling seatmate announced resolutely, “My goal is to get by!” That launched us into a very lively discussion about Jesus Christ! But the next day his words “get by” haunted me. God used my hitchhiker friend to help me realize I had a financial “get by” mentality. Yes, I worked on fundraising a little here and there, but deep down, I never really planned […]

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RADICAL FUNDRAISING: FIVE STORIES OF VISION-DRIVEN SUPPORT RAISING

They (whoever “they” is!) say that “necessity is the mother of invention”. And when you feel so burdened by a ministry calling God has given you, you will do whatever it takes to find the resources to get fully funded and launch into that ministry assignment. In other words: Vision begets urgency, urgency begets creativity, and creativity begets breakthroughs. To affirm that, we used to say, “That’ll preach!” Now we say, “That’ll tweet!” I am in the process of helping my three-year-old grandson move from babyhood (i.e. diapers) to boyhood (i.e. pants) and it can be a tedious, frustrating experience. […]

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CAN FUNDRAISING BE GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL?

Full-time support raising can feel like a juggling act. There are so many relational plates to keep spinning, new prospect balls we don’t want to drop, and the ongoing balancing act of constantly initiating and responding. In the midst of all this, we can easily get so caught up in our fundraising activities that we lose track of God’s activity in our lives. Although it’s true that financial needs normally drive our support raising efforts, I am convinced that God has called us to the ministry of building a support team for reasons that dwarf the financial realities. Fundraising definitely takes […]

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GIVING YOUR SUPPORTERS A “FRACTION OF THE ACTION”

Scripture commands us to love everyone. Right? But I don’t see where it says we have to like them! I believe enjoying someone is the greatest compliment you can pay anyone—including God. For instance, do you have to do a quiet time this morning, checking off the obligatory box on your dreaded daily “to do” list? I’m sure that really impresses the Lord! But, what if you wanted to spend time with God because you truly enjoy Him? Would that make a difference—for both of you? Let’s apply that concept to our supporters; that we start to connect with them […]

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THREE KEYS TO “WORK THE CROWD”

Some Christian workers start out soliciting churches or large groups, believing that will be the key to full funding. Most of them eventually realize their support will primarily come from individuals. Without a doubt, the tried-and-true approach to ministry partner development should always be face-to-face appointments with people. It is effective, personal, and creates a more stable support base. So, is there a role that churches or groups can play in getting us fully funded? Yes! As a kid in Sunday School I learned a little ditty that used my hands with fingers interlocked and my index fingers pointed upward. […]

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FACE-TO-FACE FELLOWSHIP WITH MINISTRY PARTNERS

“One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” (Romans 1:10-12, NLT). Recently, I was reminded of this amazing gift God gives us through visits with ministry partners. I drove from Colorado Springs to San Diego to see many people, including those at my home […]

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HOW YOU SAY IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU SAY

Men, do you remember what it was like to ask that young woman out on your first date? How did it feel—terrifying, heart-thudding, and pulse-pounding? If you could go back in time to watch a video of what you said and how it sounded, would you want a “redo”? To ask someone out on a date may not be the same as asking someone to support your ministry, but there is a principle to learn. How you say is just as important as what you say. “Jim” (not his real name), a ministry leader, asked some friends if he could […]

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FIVE WORLDWIDE SUPPORT-RAISING PRINCIPLES THAT TRANSCEND CULTURE

I can’t tell you how many times Christian workers have rolled their eyes and blurted out to me, “Steve, you just don’t understand why we can’t raise support in our culture!” If I had a dollar for every time, I could easily buy that Cabela’s trout fishing rod and reel I had been eyeing for Christmas! For more than 15 years now, I’ve had the privilege of training thousands of Christian workers from all over the world, as well as every ethnicity within the U.S. I’ve observed there is a single common denominator with virtually everyone we interact with: In […]

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FIVE REASONS WHY DEADLINES ARE YOUR FRIENDS

On Jan. 25, 2006, a giant pile of dirt was stacked up next to Razorback Road by the University of Arkansas. The local paper reported they were about to start building the largest outdoor track facility anywhere in the country. The athletic director at the time, the legendary Frank Broyles, promised it would be complete for the conference outdoor track championships that had already been scheduled for May 11—by faith! Broyles was boldly quoted: “It will be ready—period. There is no doubt about that.” Reading that, I laughed out loud and spouted, “You gotta’ be kidding. Absolutely NO WAY!” Broyles […]

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SIX HAZARDOUS PHRASES TO AVOID DURING THE ASK

In the nervousness of a fundraising appointment, do un-helpful words pop out of your mouth? At the risk of being legalistic, may I be painfully specific? The guideline: “Be sensitive yet bold in your financial presentation!” sounds great. But what does that mean? Here are six phrases to avoid. Fasten your seatbelt! 1. “Will you give to me?” “Give to me” is a first cousin of begging. Help donors understand they give to the Kingdom—vertically—not to bail you out horizontally. Ask your friends to support the Kingdom of God—specifically the Kingdom work God has assigned you. Find your own words, […]

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