HOW NOT TO LET SOCIAL MEDIA BLUNDERS SINK YOUR SUPPORT RAISING SHIP

What you may go through to finally sit down with a person for a support appointment can feel like a sea battle of volleying shots sometimes—making calls, leaving messages, missing returned calls, texting, rescheduling, etc. You can expend so much time and emotion on just getting the appointment that you are totally worn out by the time you actually meet! And if you are anything like me, you begin to rationalize, “there has to be a better way!” Unfortunately, this line of thinking can lead to taking shortcuts that won’t help you get to full support, and might even torpedo […]

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PAUL WRITES WITH SINCERITY TO HIS SUPPORTERS IN PHILIPPI

I’ve been reading the book of Philippians lately and from it I have been gaining wonderful insights in the area of ministry partnership development. Don’t you love Philippians? The tone that Paul carries throughout is so warm and kind. Philippians is a book full of encouragement and vulnerability and contains this well-known verse: “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) A bonus is that it carries my favorite very-zealous-teenage-self verse, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21) Do you happen to know why Paul wrote to the Philippians? […]

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GIVING YOUR SUPPORTERS A “FRACTION OF THE ACTION”

Scripture commands us to love everyone. Right? But I don’t see where it says we have to like them! I believe enjoying someone is the greatest compliment you can pay anyone—including God. For instance, do you have to do a quiet time this morning, checking off the obligatory box on your dreaded daily “to do” list? I’m sure that really impresses the Lord! But, what if you wanted to spend time with God because you truly enjoy Him? Would that make a difference—for both of you? Let’s apply that concept to our supporters; that we start to connect with them […]

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THREE KEYS TO “WORK THE CROWD”

Some Christian workers start out soliciting churches or large groups, believing that will be the key to full funding. Most of them eventually realize their support will primarily come from individuals. Without a doubt, the tried-and-true approach to ministry partner development should always be face-to-face appointments with people. It is effective, personal, and creates a more stable support base. So, is there a role that churches or groups can play in getting us fully funded? Yes! As a kid in Sunday School I learned a little ditty that used my hands with fingers interlocked and my index fingers pointed upward. […]

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FACE-TO-FACE FELLOWSHIP WITH MINISTRY PARTNERS

“One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” (Romans 1:10-12, NLT). Recently, I was reminded of this amazing gift God gives us through visits with ministry partners. I drove from Colorado Springs to San Diego to see many people, including those at my home […]

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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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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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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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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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