Discovering Blindspots in Support Raising Leadership

By on April 26, 2017   /   2 Comments

Editor’s Note: We asked Scott Morton (International Funding Coach for The Navigators)  to explain the background to his new book Blindspots—Leading Your Team and Ministry to Full Funding. Watch the webinar and read the story about how the book came about below.

I stumbled into Blindspots during a rainy morning in Southern California while teaching a fundraising school for mission workers. On Day Two I got up early and returned to the vacant seminar room to meet with the Lord. I felt uneasy about the previous day’s teaching. What was missing? It hit me: examples of leaders doing fundraising!

Staring at the rain puddles through the window, I opened my Bible and soon ran into Nehemiah. I identified with his fear of the “major donor” Artaxerxes, but I loved his bold planning.

Though it was dreary outside, I walked out of that seminar room with sunshine at my back and fresh manna in my heart—God once again showed me His Word is our ultimate Funding Guide!

During the next few months I also discovered that Moses, Hezekiah, Joash, David and the Apostle Paul dealt with the same funding challenges I faced. Studying these six Bible leaders continues year by year—I can’t get enough of the Scriptures!

But something else continues year by year too. My observation that many mission workers’ struggles with funding are tightly connected to their supervisors and organizational policies.

For example, as State Director for The Navigators in Wisconsin, I raised my personal ministry budget, but my fledgling staff struggled to travel to regional meetings or fund family emergencies—but they never told me about it!

My underlying value was: “Every tub floats on its own bottom.” That kept our team from overspending, but it evolved into an every-staff-member-for-themselves mentality — i.e. survival of the fittest. I had a blindspot—two actually. I assumed:

  • My staff could fully fund themselves without my participation.
  • I wouldn’t need funding beyond my personal ministry budget—hence, I couldn’t help my staff!

But I was not alone. Other leaders had the same blindspots. Plus, organizational systems and history (the way we’ve always done it) were part of the problem. The “Goliath of Fundraising” was shouting us down!

But slowly by slowly I realized the six Bible leaders provided insights for today. And slowly by slowly a 206-page book popped out–Blindspots!

Similar to driving cars, leaders have blindspots—areas we cannot see even though we are looking. We do not intentionally make bad decisions in driving, nor do we intentionally make bad decisions in fundraising leadership. But—mistakes are made.

Who should read this book? Anyone who leads in ministry—1 or 12 or 120 staff. But especially one-up supervisors because employee morale largely depends on the relationships between staff and direct supervisors. When staff are hurting financially, they are reluctant to tell their supervisors—and supervisors are reluctant to ask! So, we have a big smelly invisible elephant in the room!

This book is not just written for support raising staff, but also to leaders of any nationality and for every level of responsibility, even including:

  • Leadership teams of ministries or churches
  • Pastors of churches
  • Entrepreneurs starting organizations
  • Church mission committees

I am often asked, “What are common funding blindspots in leaders?” Here are three:

  • A mentality which says your staff’s funding problems are “their problem!”
  • The belief that you’re “too busy” for fundraising and donor ministry.
  • Giving your staff permission to “take all the time they need for funding”, but then expecting them to keep other deadlines.

So what are you blindspots? Before you start seeking out and embracing the way the world does fundraising, study this book. It will point you to the Scriptures, and wisely guide you to God’s strategies.

COMMENT BELOW:  What are your blindspots?



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