Re-Creating the Support Raising DNA of Your Organization

Marv was a dynamic 41 year old visionary who took the challenge of a lifetime when he left a young, vibrant mission agency to take the helm of a larger, decades-old ministry stuck in the past. As he got to know the staff the first few months, he jotted down a number of unhealthy attitudes and issues he sensed had formed and hardened over the years. He was tempted to pull out a jackhammer, break it all apart and start over, but he wisely took a deep breath, bowed and prayed, “Oh God, only You can re-create the DNA of […]

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Three People in Your Ministry Who Should NOT Raise Their Support

After failing to deter a young woman from aborting her baby, Rebecca decided to launch a problem pregnancy ministry in a huge west coast city. The vision had started small, but now, ten years later, it had grown into numerous branches with over 30 full-time workers. From the very beginning she had determined to model to her staff exactly what she was asking them to do. Consequently, Rebecca raised every penny of her own personal support and trained all of her staff to do the same. That worked fine in the early stages, but over time she became more and […]

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Three Secrets to Save Your CEO from a Heart Attack!

Baxter was a fun-loving visionary who attracted all kinds of sharp and gifted people to him and his ministry. He not only made them feel like they had a unique contribution to make, but also that they would forever be his best friend! Early on, Baxter decided to draw upon his vast number of successful business friends to fund all his organization’s needs. This allowed him to recruit impressive staff and develop exciting programs until, after about ten years, he suddenly hit “the wall.” Marathoners know full well the sinking feeling of being halfway through the race when a bomb […]

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Support Training: How Much is Enough?

I won’t bore you with the children’s story of Goldilocks stumbling upon the three bears’ house in the woods (with no one home) only to test out their porridge, chairs, and beds. You remember—each time she tasted, sat, or laid down, she would proclaim it to be too little, too much, etc…and then finally…“juuuust right!” Looks like I bored you anyway, but let’s apply this tale to the critical area of support raising training. In the last eight years, we’ve been privileged to train staff from almost 300 organizations. You might ask, “How many different approaches have you seen as […]

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Subsidizing Staff Salaries: Does it Help or Hurt?

The leaders of Campus Challenge* were so anxious to get their new staff to their ministry assignments that they held an emergency meeting on how they could bypass the sometimes long and laborious support raising process. The President (who was on salary) proposed the re-routing of a recent 150K gift to go instead toward subsidizing new staff salaries. The HR director (also on salary) quickly calculated the percentages and yelled excitedly, “We can cover 60% of their first year salary, 30% of the second, and by the third they should all be at full support!” A Regional Director (who’s never […]

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Placing Priority on Support Training: It Shows You Care

Blindsided. That’s the only word I can think of to describe my experience. It was supposed to just be a short workshop I was doing for the 25 or so staff from the local chapter of this international Christian ministry. But within seconds of my closing prayer I was mobbed by 10-15 crying and emotionally charged young men and women. It soon became obvious their frustration, stress, feelings of failure and guilt were not their fault—but thoughtlessly thrust upon them by their ministry leaders. For years, the leaders of this ministry set incredibly high goals for their staff in the […]

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The Role of the CEO: Raising Organizational and Personal Support

All of us have values; some good, some not so good. As a leader though, I can’t think of a higher value than this: I will not require or even ask another staff person to do something that I myself am not doing. Some call this “modeling”, and following this value builds respect, credibility, and morale. When a leader chooses to ignore this principle, arrogance and a sense of privilege can set in—eroding trust, sacrifice, and teamwork among the staff. Maybe it’s the difference between the war general who sits back on top of the hill directing his troops versus the […]

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Crossing the River of DeNial: Why it’s so Hard to Change Ourselves

Flying from London to Nairobi in a 767 is quite an experience. If the expanse of that mammoth plane doesn’t take your breath away, peering down on the terrifying terrain will. After gazing at a thousand miles of Sahara Desert, the gigantic and intimidating Nile River suddenly came into view, cutting a huge swath through the vast African continent. Eyes staring and mind racing, I couldn’t imagine someone attempting to cross the Nile, much less the Sahara.    Some call trying to conquer the most fearsome parts of nature “extreme sports.” I call it a “death wish!” After failing to jump […]

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The Latest Support Raising Trends: A Survey of 100 Sending Agencies

Maybe you ran into one of our dedicated staff women at the Urbana Missions Conference in St. Louis this past December. Anna Webb and Megan Corbett were there representing The BodyBuilders Ministry, but also spent several days diligently surveying over 100 different mission agencies who were exhibiting there. Just as the ministry leaders they questioned did not claim to have all knowledge, we are not presenting ourselves as “research scholars!” We’re simply trying to come up with some “pretty close” figures as to how Christian workers are currently doing in support raising. The survey included three basic questions: 1. What […]

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An Open Letter to the Pastors of Support Raisers

I used to be a pastor, and I can still remember all the various demands and pressures put on me by so many. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with thousands of different pastors —from almost every stripe. My respect for the shepherds of local churches is off the charts. But as it relates to the topic of support raising, I have noticed some who fit into these “less than encouraging” categories: 1. The “High Control” Pastors They create strict rules that no one can approach their members for financial support. Or they make a support raiser […]

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Support Raising Solutions
PO BOX 3556
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