Leading Up: Navigating Organizational Change as a Mid-Level Manager

I remember having lunch a few years ago with Roger Hamilton, the Director of Ministry Partner Development for The Navigators in Colorado Springs. I asked Roger how he thought we could influence and change the MPD strategies of an established organization. He said one word, “grassroots.” His message to me was that change is often first proven in the field and then adopted by the majority. I’ve never forgotten that conversation because he was so right! A Case Study That is exactly what happened within FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) from 2012 -2019. In 7 years FCA grew their staff […]

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I Thought I Didn’t Need a Coach…but I Was Wrong

I can’t say support raising has ever been easy for me, but not long ago I hit a new low in my relationship to raising personal support. By the end of last year, I had fallen below 100% fairly significantly, and even though I had seen God provide for us in some incredible ways, I was very discouraged and had even started to wonder if it was possible for me to carry on. I started asking myself whether I could do this for the long run. I’ve been at my current organization for seven years, but I began to have […]

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Three Fundraising Culs-de-sac: Extremely logical half-truths that take you in circles

Adapted from Scott’s book: Blindspots: Leading Your Team and Ministry to Full Funding Funding coaches and leaders need to be alert for three subtle fundraising “sayings.” These half-truths seem logical, but following them leads into a cul-de-sac. Let’s dive in! Cul-de-sac #1: “Money follows visibility.” Years ago a well-known Evangelical conference and radio speaker lamented: “Our funding keeps going down even though I am speaking more and sending over 1,000 newsletters.” But few people give merely because you are visible to the public eye. Your potential donors go to bed at night wondering about their text messages or how to […]

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Shining Light on the Lies

If you are doing God’s work, the devil will try to get you to not do it, using whatever tactics he can. And one of his favorite tactics is lies. Just look at Genesis 3:1-5 to see how he tempts Adam and Eve using lies. His tactics haven’t changed much since then. Lies love to show up along with the other challenges of support raising. If we aren’t diligent in fighting them and training our staff to fight them, these lies can sideline the staff we are leading. Here’s a battle plan for fighting the lies that show up to […]

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Mobilize More: More Prayer, More Partners, More Praise

Are your staff people raising money…or are they mobilizing? Most Christian workers drudge through personal support raising as a “have to”, a necessary evil, a painful and unpleasant pathway to get to their ministry assignment. What if, as one of their ministry leaders, you could help your staff see the ministry of personal support raising (aka Ministry Partnership Development) as not about money, but about mobilization? You see, there’s an eternal reason the Lord has given each of your staff an ever growing network of friends, family, and churches. The bigger purpose behind it all is that He desires to […]

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Burden vs. Load: Living in the Tension as a Coach

In Galatians 6:2 Paul says, “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” This makes sense to our idea of biblical community. But a few short verses later in Galatians 6:5, he says, “Each one should carry his own load.” So, what’s the deal? Are we to help each other, or is each person supposed to take care of his own stuff? Looking at the Greek meaning helps us find the distinction. In verse 2, “burden” refers to that which someone cannot take care of on their own. The word translated “load” in […]

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Coaching S.M.A.R.T. Support Raisers

You may have previously heard that I was a failed support raiser for a few years before I attended an SRS bootcamp. I wasn’t even able to raise 25% of our need, and I felt like a terrible failure. There were many reasons for this, but a big one was that I didn’t have any plans for how to use my time, and how to chart my success outside of actual money given. I hadn’t built a good list of contacts, I didn’t know how to ask for referrals, I made too few calls and averaged too few appointments, among […]

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Could Floating Underfunded Staff Ultimately Sink Them?

Imagine if Christian organizations, whose staff raise their support, operated their finances as banks do and gave their staff “overdraft protection.” Wikipedia defines overdraft protection as, An overdraft occurs when money is withdrawn from a bank account and the available balance goes below zero. In this situation the account is said to be “overdrawn.” If there is a prior agreement with the account provider for an overdraft, and the amount overdrawn is within the authorized overdraft limit, then interest is normally charged at the agreed rate. Bank customers can arrange overdraft protection for their checking accounts. If they write a […]

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The Great Prerequisite for Support Raising Success

Arrogance can keep us ignorant. I should know. I have spent most of my life thinking I knew everything there was to know, and if I didn’t, I could fake my way through. My test preparation strategy in college was to start studying at midnight before the test, then stumble into class with bleary eyes, a caffeine headache and a fried brain. It’s a miracle I even graduated! As a younger man, I thought I had all the answers. Now much older, all I have are questions. Life has a way of making us a little more humble and teachable, […]

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Warning Flags in Field Staff Funding

As a leader watching over the support health of field laborers what are some warning flags that should grab our attention? We all know a major contributing factor to workers leaving the field is the area of finances and MPD. Once workers have reported to their assignment location, and we’ve supported them through the natural seasons of team and locational culture shock, adjusting to a new work and personal life, etc., we need to be watching for signs to help us determine which staff may need additional coaching with their MPD. Financial stress can be caused by any combination of […]

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