The Team is the Dream

Raising support in isolation nearly devoured our staff.  In late 2014, I found myself hitting roadblock after roadblock coaching new, often very young hires in support raising. Running dogged with individual coaching sessions, I was seeing limited, and at times, frustratingly slow results. It often took our staff 6-12 months to raise support. Some would make it. Some wouldn’t. Many would reach campus like marathon runners who finished a 26.2-mile race they hadn’t trained for and didn’t want to run, only to start a second race a week later.  Staff felt drained.  Lonely.  Spiritually dry. Painfully working through support raising […]

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“Why would anyone want to support me?”

“Why would anyone want to support me?”  In my early days of fundraising, that statement was a great summary of my attitude toward MPD. Have you tried to lead anyone to support raising success who was stuck in this mindset? Today I’d be more likely to say, “Why wouldn’t people support me?” So what changed in me, and how can you help bring about a shift in your support raisers’ perspectives? I Didn’t Know What I Was Doing or Why If I’m completely honest about my early days, I’d say I didn’t really know what I was doing or why. […]

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Coaching Millennials in MPD Fundraising

Millennials, like other generations, have come to be known for the qualities which characterize them. As these 23 to 38 year olds become the majority of the workforce, many businesses and organizations have found themselves scrambling to discover the strategies that work best to harness the strengths of this generation of employees. What motivates millennials? What do they value? How can they be led well? These questions have left leaders from all sectors scratching their heads. It makes sense that coaching millennials in fundraising has also made a perplexing ripple in the world of MPD. Here are six key generational […]

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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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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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Your Team Needs a Champion

On every sports team you have key roles. You have the coach who creates and executes the game plan and calls the plays. You have a team captain who does whatever it is that team captains do. You have your key positions like quarterback and pitcher. But I am always most impressed with that guy who is rallying other players at the start of the game, giving pep talks on the sidelines, whose energy raises everyone’s spirits and abilities. If Ministry Partner Development (MPD) is a team sport (which I think it needs to be), I call this person the […]

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Debunking Myths about Ethnic Minority Support Raising

As a fully funded ethnic minority Navigator staff and Ministry Partnership Development (MPD) coach, I want to challenge a few common myths that I encounter: Myth: “Ethnic minority staff can’t raise money.” That’s a bold statement based on many assumptions. The last time I looked in the mirror, I was still an ethnic minority person, and God has taught me how to raise money and become fully funded. It has been a journey of deepening my intimacy with Christ as He exposed lies I had believed about money. Funds didn’t pour in when I started on this journey. In fact, […]

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Coaching New Staff For The First 100 Days

It’s a wonderful day when someone new joins your staff. Perhaps they are a recent college graduate. Maybe it’s someone more seasoned in life, who recently left a successful marketplace job because of God’s clear calling to share in your vital vision as their full-time vocation. At some point there is a crystallized moment where the IRS W-4 has been completed, all other proper paperwork is in order, and they are officially part of ministry staff. It’s really happening! Enthusiasm is high while you praise the Lord for these exciting times! However, as an executive and/or support raising coach in […]

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Our Top Two Strategies to Eliminate Support Raising Barriers for Our New Staff

In Matthew 9:37, Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” In my 13 years of ministry experience, no statement has been truer. About the time this verse first entered my scripture memory box, Steve Shadrach shared a statistic with me at an SRS Bootcamp that I will never forget. Up to 92% of missionaries leave the mission field, mainly or in part, due to lack of support. If both of these statements are true, then we have to begin to think of how we can take every opportunity available to train workers and […]

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