Ditch the Fundraising Drudgery

You can set goals all day long, but if you don’t know where they are taking you—they are just chores. Drudgery. Items to check off an unending to-do list. And if you’re anything like me (and the rest of the Western world), we don’t need extra items there. As a fundraiser, it can be easy to think once you reach an initial financial goal your work is done, and naturally shift into maintenance mode. But that’s not the way it should be. You might be surprised to know, fundraising has little to do with money—and more to do with how […]

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Rethinking Short-Term Mission Fundraising

“How would you like all of your new staff to be at 50% of their monthly support within the first 4 weeks of support raising?” That’s what one campus ministry leader asked me, who then went on to explain how they have seen this become a common trend. The reason was not their incredible training for new staff or wealthy networks; it started with how they lead students to raise short-term support for the summer project and mission trips. Over the past 20 years, the US has seen a surge in short-term missions, with millions of teenagers, students, and adults […]

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Fundraising on Furloughs

It is an honor to be invited to contribute to the SRS newsletter on the topic of fundraising while on furloughs. My wife Jody and I have served with Wycliffe Bible Translators for 26 years, so we have deep experience with the topic. My current job with Wycliffe is as a Partnership Development Coach. I coach new Wycliffe members whose first job is to reach 100% budget funding by building a partnership team. I also coach established career Wycliffe members (EMs) on furlough required to increase their budgets to 100% to return to the field. The Wycliffe members I have […]

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Raising Support from 1000 Miles Away

For many of us, support raising is enough of a challenge in and of itself. Often, adding the obstacles of raising additional funds from the field just compounds the challenge. Now imagine you serve overseas, far from your primary support base, and the task can seem almost insurmountable. Believe me, I know. I serve 8000 miles away from my main support base! How can we most effectively maintain full support funding while serving on a faraway international assignment? First, develop good support raising habits so that you don’t find yourself in a big bind while on international assignment. Are your […]

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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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DO FUNDRAISING BEFORE YOU NEED TO!

When people find out I have been up to budget for 30 years, they ask, “Do you still do fundraising even though you are up to budget?” The question is similar to, “Why fix the roof if it is not raining?” Yes, I still invite support even though I am fully funded—four reasons: My budget goes up every year. Our Board of Directors insists we have adequate living expenses. I identify special projects each year to advance my ministry even more. I don’t aim for a “low budget” just so I won’t have to raise new support. If I need […]

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Shad-o-nomics 101: My Six-Step Homemade Plan to Get to Full Support

Growing up as the son of a businessman in Dallas, Texas, had its advantages and disadvantages. Because Dad had lived through the depression years, he instilled his “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” perspective into his three sons—of which I was the middle. Work hard, provide for your family, get to the top, and retire early were the values he spoke of and modeled to us. My two brothers majored in business with the goal of becoming millionaires by age 30. I was expected to follow suit into the work world to obtain the “American Dream” and the accompanying financial […]

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Raising Support While Already Involved in the Ministry (aka…Changing Tires on a Moving Vehicle)

Let’s all agree that the ideal for Ministry Partner Development (MPD support raising) is that it should be done completely in advance of reporting to the ministry location or beginning the ministry work if you already live there. Oh, that this was always a perfect world in which we live! Using an automotive metaphor from the world of Formula 1 or NASCAR auto racing, it would be ideal to have plenty of advance notice to prepare a high-performance racecar, equip and rehearse your pit crew, and be ready to go into the race with all the pieces in place to […]

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The Top Five Skills Learned in Support Raising

1. How to humbly pray If you’ve never been on your face before God, crying out in absolute, total dependence upon Him, you probably have never really had the full responsibility to go out and raise 100% of your budget all by your lonesome. There is nothing like staring at unpaid utility bills or into the eyes of your hungry kids that motivates someone to look up to God and shout, “Apart from You, I can do nothing!” Yes, John 15:5 takes on a whole new meaning when you’re pounding the pavement from 6 am to 10 pm each day, […]

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Four Ways a Steering Committee Can Help Get You to 100%

Josh and Katie were feeling lonely and isolated. They had applied and been accepted to a well known youth ministry, given a book to read about support raising, and told to report to their assignment when they got to full budget. Now, four months later, and stuck at only 18%, they sat in a room and silently stared at each other. Katie finally spoke up, “Why are we trying to do this all by ourselves? Why don’t we get some of our friends involved? I bet a number of them would want to do more than just give.” Immediately, they […]

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