Should I Consider an End of Year Campaign?

Research published by Charity Navigator found that at least 30% of all charitable giving in the U.S. happens during the month of December, with 12% of donations posted during the last three days of the year. Some missionaries report that 40% of their annual support comes in during December. So why should you consider an end of year campaign? Because people are planning to be generous!  Key Elements of an End of Year Campaign A Unifying Theme A Key Story A Visionary Ask A Funding Goal A Tangible Outcome  A Way to Respond  Develop a Unifying Theme and Key Story  […]

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Beyond the Newsletter: Communicating Value to Ministry Partners

Keeping in touch with people who we don’t see regularly takes initiative. I remember during college, when I wasn’t doing a good job of calling home, my dad would say to me, “You make time to do the things you want to do.” My parents knew I had a full schedule with work, school and ministry, but that didn’t make them feel any better about my lack of communication. Really, all they wanted to know was that in my busy schedule, they were a priority. Similarly, keeping in touch with our supporters is a way we show that we value […]

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The Strategic Friendship of Financial Supporters

The first overseas missionary I remember meeting was a single woman who lived in Africa. She stayed in our home for a week and gave me a lovely necklace of polished gray seeds that came from her beloved Angola. In the evenings, she told stories that danced in my young imagination—images of African animals, villages, dusty hospitals, and exuberant worship services. She was the first of many missionaries who became our friends as my parents demonstrated the joy of giving generously, praying consistently, and joining the work of the gospel from afar. So when I raised support to work with […]

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Partnership or Handout?

My biggest struggle when I first sensed God calling me into ministry was fundraising. I just could not see myself with a degree in mining engineering passing on a job in order to ask people for handouts. I equated fundraising to begging. Is there a difference between fundraising for a gospel ministry and begging? Part of my struggle was right in front of me as I drove in my car. Every time I stop at the Manda Hill traffic lights on Great East Road in Lusaka, I can’t help but notice the different people trying to make a living at […]

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Funding Principles Go Beyond Borders

The perception exists in some Non-Westerners that the West are “rich,” and so it is easy for them to support Non-Western missionaries. This perception is fed in part by a misconception of financial realities in both cultures and currency values relative to local economies. Just as it is not true that all Westerners are rich, it is not true that there are no resources in Non-Western countries. People work and generate wealth and can give towards the work of advancing the gospel. In any culture, people have to be presented with a clear vision and a clear invitation to give. […]

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Where Are the African-American Missionaries?

There are some unique barriers many African-Americans face as it relates to fundraising. Shortage of resources, limited network of relationships, pressure from family, not understanding the traditional fundraising practices and how those practices translate in their cultural context, scarcity of models or mentors, just to name a few. How about not being enlightened by the history of African-Americans engaged in missions? Could this impact the ability for an African-American to raise sustainable funding? Absolutely! If there are others who have gone before you who are similar to you or of the same ethnicity, having shared comparable experience, this can provide […]

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Color Outside the Lines: Successful Support Raising for People of (any) Color

No matter the state of your partnership development efforts, you have my sincere admiration. The level of conviction and active faith it takes to live as a ministering fundraiser is worthy of cheers and thunderous applause. Thank you for honoring God by saying “yes” to His calling and launching into the “great adventure” to make an eternal difference in the lives of many. In this same spirit of reverence and as a person of color (POC) who has successfully developed and maintained a culturally diverse financial and prayer team, I’m writing to offer some tips and reminders about partnership development […]

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Support Raising from Your Pastor’s Perspective

  Almost a quarter of a century ago, my wife and I were fresh out of college. Our first full-time mission was reaching college students with a parachurch ministry. Our history of support raising up to that point primarily consisted of funding stateside and international summer training projects. However, in this work we needed to trust God to provide us with regular monthly support from individuals and local churches. We lived the highs and lows of this experience for eleven years on two different campuses. It was amazing to see how God provided and how He gave us a team […]

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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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How to Write an Awful Newsletter

  Not again, I thought. I felt like banging my head against the wall. As Assistant Director of MPD, my job includes skimming staff prayer letters to hunt for good stories. Some staff write exceptionally powerful newsletters. But at that moment, I had stumbled onto the “What Not to Do Newsletter.” The author, “Joe Staff,” wrote with good intentions but had effectively written a newsletter most partners wouldn’t want to read. Here’s where Joe went wrong: Too Long “This is the newsletter that never ends…” sounds like the childhood ditty, “This is the song that never ends.” Some staff write […]

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