It’s All About Perspective

When talking about support raising, I try whenever possible to stay away from the words “fundraising” and “donor“when describing support raising as a ministry worker. Instead I use the phrases “partnership development” and “financial partner“. Why you ask? The nuance lies within the overall perspective of raising one’s budget. The word “donor” denotes someone who gives blood, gives one time, or is involved in a limited transaction. “Fundraising” denotes car washes, bake sales, golf tournaments, and transactional events. Right? Right. Of course fundraising and donors are in and of themselves not bad. OF COURSE. However, neither indicate an ongoing relationship […]

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Five Pits Support Raisers Fall Into: And How to Get Out!

Pits are known to be dangerous places. The utter darkness combined with the fear of the unknown of what’s down there can produce heart-pounding terror. Normally, it’s wise to steer clear of pits unless, of course, you are Benaiah. In between killing huge warriors from Moab and Egypt in 2 Samuel 23:21, the Scriptures matter-of-factly slip in a little-known feat. Benaiah “chases a lion down into a pit on a snowy day and killed him.”   Now, for most of us, we don’t purposely jump into a pit, we accidentally fall into one! The lion in that pit with Benaiah could […]

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Coaching—Perseverance and Permission

“Coaching makes all the difference.” “Accountability is the secret sauce to success.” “You definitely need a coach.” I knew those words. I TAUGHT those words. But when was the last time I put them into practice and had my own coach for partnership development? 7 years. Yup. In my defense there had been at least twice that I had sought out people and invited them to fill that role…but they weren’t a good fit or I didn’t properly set up expectations. I could tell myself “Callie, you TEACH people how to raise support, you probably are the exception to the […]

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Embracing Your Community in Ministry Partner Development

Diwali. Lunar New Year. Cinco de Mayo. Eid al-Fitr. Passover. Christmas. Depending on your personal background and the community in which you were raised or currently reside, some of these words immediately bring to mind joyous gatherings filled with family, friends, and of course mountains of great food. These rich cultural celebrations bring out the best in their communities: a sense of connectedness, inclusion, deep familial relationships, honoring of others, and a recognition of something greater than the individuals who join these festivities. It is from – and into – these communities that we are beginning to see God draw […]

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Is There a Roadmap for Making Support Raising Sustainable?

Three years ago our organization started with this question: How can personal support raising be sustainable for everyone? Several of our staff were severely underfunded, others barely made a full paycheck, and most recruits dropped out during on-boarding. However, we had a handful of staff members thriving, fully supported, and a generous rainy-day fund in the bank. Was it possible to provide a roadmap that worked for our entire staff? After ten years of personal support raising, I attended my first SRS Bootcamp eager to learn and answer this question. I walked away with this conviction about support raising that […]

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Millennials and MPD: What I Have Learned Coaching New Staff in Support Raising

Lysa, a young capable woman who loves Jesus and wants to serve Him overseas, joined our staff several years ago after college. She had never raised support, but was trained well. She plodded along among her college friends and home church with 3-5 appointments per week for several months, but was still only at about 10% of her goal. We had a deadline coming up in less than two weeks that required her to be at 80% of her actual (not pledged) support goal. If she did not make this, none of the rest of the team would launch and […]

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5 Things to Look for in an MPD Coach

In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (NIV).” It is interesting that Paul does not say, “Follow Christ’s example, as I follow the example of Christ.” I believe what Paul is trying to convey in this passage is the principle of mentorship in our walk with God. In whatever skill we are trying to develop, we all need a mentor or a coach to get better. Even the most highly accomplished, professional athletes still need a coach. How much more important is a good coach when it comes to raising support, […]

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Sabbath and Home Ministry Assignments

“Relationships, Resources and Rhythms”. I’ve taught this so very often: 3 R’s that help categorize and quantify losses that accompany every significant transition. They are areas that must be noticed, grieved and rebuilt in seasons of change.  Relationships—Christianity is a “team sport,” so a good measure of thriving has its roots in knowing who “your people” are. This is by design. Part of God’s image is “us-ness” (Trinity) and it has been imprinted onto our souls. Most of the “you” imperatives in scripture are plural. Transition disrupts and disconnects us from those who have been our people. Resources—The first year […]

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Eat Healthier, Read More, Get Fully Funded

The New Year is a time when people tend to look ahead, make goals, start fresh and consider trying new things. We want to lose weight, go to the gym, eat healthier or read more. Sometimes these New Year’s resolutions lead to the change we hope for, yet often our intentions are good, but our follow-through is not. Maybe you also have goals in support raising you hope to reach this year: “This year I will add 5 people each month to my newsletter list. I will add three people to our financial support team this quarter, or I commit […]

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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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