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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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TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF THE PICTURE

“If only I could take me out of support raising and have someone else do it for me!” Maybe you’ve thought that before, but that’s not what I mean by taking yourself out of the support raising picture. For many support-based missionaries, the subject of “me” and support raising are inextricably linked together. Although most fellow missionaries I have known and met throughout the years are very humble and self-effacing in this area, they have a tendency to fall headlong into the trap of the enemy: feeling and acting, as though support raising is both all about themselves and totally […]

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WHY HEALTH TRUMPS EVERYTHING

[vimeo 104762880 w=600]   Our leadership team worked through a great book by Patrick Lencioni recently. The premise is that a healthy team will always accomplish more than a gifted team. If the leaders know how to live a balanced life and then humbly align around a commonly agreed on mission, there is nothing they cannot accomplish! I believe the three bases support raisers must run to have a well-rounded mission are: 1) getting spiritually healthy, 2) becoming vision driven, and 3) reaching full support. And in that order! Most workers we train in support raising naively want to go […]

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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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