Stop Hinting, Just Ask

Just ask! In a world where hints, subtle suggestions and passive aggressiveness are becoming common language, we need to develop the skill and courage to make direct asks when building a partnership team. Our unwillingness or inability to make direct asks can communicate more about us than we know. Hinting communicates an internal fear. A direct ask communicates an established faith. Sure, asking people to join your partnership team can be scary, but where does that fear come from? Is that fear worth surrendering to? Often it is rooted in a fear of being rejected. This is not the mindset […]

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Getting a Head Start on Year-End Giving

Twenty-five to thirty percent of all donations occur at the end of the year. Did you hear that?! During November and December people give over and above. This is true for your ministry partners too. Since they are already invested in you and your ministry, it is highly likely they would prefer to give to you — where their hearts already are. There are a lot of tips, tricks, and strategies to an effective Year-End Ask (YEA). This does not mean you are turning a beautiful response to God’s calling into a mathematical formula. The goal of effective communication is […]

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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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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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Don’t Beat Around the Bush

I asked a good friend of mine who has been one of our long-time financial partners, “When we have a financial need, how would you like us to approach you?” His response, “Just ask me.” This is profound. People do not want us to be circumspect when it comes to asking for support. If you have an “inner” resistance to asking people to give, it is critical to be honest with yourself about what is causing that resistance. Is it a fear that you are manipulating people to do something they really don’t want to do? Do you feel you […]

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Taking the Pressure Off: How “Levels of Giving” Charts Can Help

Besides making the phone call to set up the appointment, the toughest part of support raising for me is the actual face-to-face asking of the person to join our team. Sometimes popping the “golden question” can be a nerve-racking 30 seconds of sheer terror! Why? Because that is when we are most vulnerable to rejection. And, as much as we tell ourselves that the prospective donor is not rejecting us, but simply our proposal, isn’t our tendency to still take it personally? Some Christian workers, though, are so committed to safeguarding their fragile self-esteem they dare not venture one centimeter […]

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Getting Personal: Support Raising is like a Marriage Proposal

If you are engaged or married (or think you someday will be), this survey is for you. Question: What was the method utilized in initiating the marriage commitment with your partner? Was the proposal made through: A letter A phone call A fax E mail Face to face I have given this “Marriage Proposal Method Survey” to hundreds of people and, almost without exception, option #5 was the resounding response. Amazing! Even in our age of technology the old fashion personal approach was deemed best. Apparently, even though we’ve become high tech, we still need to be high touch. In […]

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Asking Big: Does it Offend or Affirm?

There I was, mesmerized by the passion and vision of this campus staff worker who was pouring out his heart to reach the world for Christ and asking me to join his support team. But when the moment of truth arrived and he shared how much he was asking me to invest, I could not believe it. He only asked me for $35 a month! I was stunned and embarrassed for him. Was that all his vision was worth? Was that all that he thought I could (or would) give? Guess how much I agreed to contribute? Yep, just $35 […]

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