Partnership Development and the Coronavirus

Many of you in the middle of raising support may be wondering what to do during this unprecedented time. Today there are more school closings, limitations on gatherings of more than 10 people, more chaos at airports, overall social distancing, and the like. We don’t know yet how the coronavirus will affect ministry workers raising support. Dave Dickens of CRU recently offered some brilliant thoughts on his email newsletter list that I wanted to share with you at explaining some helpful things to help you navigate this chaotic season (some of it is slightly adapted to serve this blog’s audience): Let’s be prayerful. […]

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Coronavirus and Fundraising?

Question: With the Coronavirus pandemic shutting down much of the world, what can you do now in fundraising? Nothing? Wait until things improve? Answer: Now is the time to be active in your giving partners’ lives. Now is not the time to withdraw! Your giving partners need your encouragement, but it will take time. Donor Ministry Ideas: Phone a giving partner who might be struggling. Listen to her. Pray with her over the phone. Send a physical note, text or email to a partner just to let him know you are thinking of him. Tell him you are concerned. Share a scripture. Send money […]

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Will You Trust the Lord?

An Impossible Journey My heart raced. My forehead beaded with sweat. I even laughed out loud! I took a deep breath and replied, “I’m burdened to build laborers on the campus for the lost world, but there’s no way I can raise my own salary with the support base I have.” I grew up in the poor inner city of St. Louis where gang activity, drug deals, and prostitution were just how life operated. I had been offered an amazing, well-paying accounting job. I could see the comfortable future I had always wanted within reach. No more living on bologna […]

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Rest, Relationships, Relating to Partners: Balancing the “Three Rs” of Furlough

Setting the Stage The foundation of honoring God in the stewardship of our lives as servants on His behalf is love: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39). In order to love God and others, you need to take care of, yes love, yourself. Furlough is a time for those serving cross-culturally to take care of themselves and their families, including their partners, in order to have the capacity to take care of others.  The ministry I serve with asks our members […]

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How God is Teaching Me to Pray as I Raise Support

Embarking on a season of raising support probably provides one of the best opportunities you will ever have to grow in your prayer life.  You have a great need that is impossible to meet on your own.  You are taking a leap into the unknown, with only your Father to catch you.  You are daily involved in a sometimes tedious, sometimes hair raising task requiring humility, courage, and patience. I predict that during support raising you will see flabbergasting reminders of God’s goodness and His ability to provide—along with frequent reminders of your own weakness. And on top of it […]

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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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