Successful Support Raising: Is it About Character or Gifting?

By on June 1, 2010   /   Leave a comment

Straight from the annals of Diary of a Wimpy Support Raiser come these pitiful excuses: “Shadrach, the reason I am not able to raise a lot of support—but you are—is because…

  1. “You are gifted to do so”
  2. “You have an outgoing personality”
  3. “You have a lot of wealthy friends”
  4. “You have a ‘cutting edge’ ministry position”

Bull hockey! Thanks for allowing me a moment of crudeness as I debunk those four mythical statements. For the record:

1. There is no spiritual gift of fundraising. Please get that out of your mind. It is a decision of the will.

2. Actually, having a “life of the party,” used-car salesman persona can work against you. The best support raiser in our organization is a quiet, behind-the-scenes, 30 year-old single administrator who has simply met personally with every ministry partner and sincerely shared from the heart her vision and passion, and then….she asked!

3. Don’t we all get to choose our own friends? If so, why not broaden the number, location, and categories of the people you are building relationships with? If you love, serve, and minister to enough people, some of them are bound to end up having significant resources. And guess what? They’re going to want to invest in you…IF you will ask them!

4. I sit in a small office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, praying for and encouraging the staff around me. Most of my time is on the phone and computer. I’m not out on the campus or mission field. Maybe like you, I’m basically a home-office administrator. Sorry—nothing glamorous about it!

OK, now that I got that off my chest, let’s make a list of five essential characteristics of a successful support raiser. Notice the word “characteristic” has the word “character” in it. In my opinion and experience, there is no heavenly anointing, magic formula, or magnetic personality. NO! Who we are in private will determine who we are in public, and if you will pray and cultivate these “characteristics” into your life and support raising, I believe you will see dramatic results:

1. Vision—Get with your co-workers to intercede and determine what is the specific and strategic part of fulfilling the Great Commission God has assigned to you. Illustrate it in crystal-clear terms your supporters can easily see and embrace.

2. Passion—Go to your prayer closet and ask the Lord to so burden you to fulfill that vision you want to weep and pound the table until it is reached. Share from your life and heart, and people will want to jump on your team!

3. Conviction—Draw a line down the middle of a notepad. One side: My beliefs. On the other: My convictions. Beliefs are simply your thoughts, doctrines, ideas about God, life, and ministry. Convictions, though, are different. They are the firm and resolute implementation of your beliefs; something you will sacrifice, even die for, if need be.

4. Courage—Are you willing to call or meet with anyone, anytime, anyplace to lay out your ministry vision, then muster up the audacity to ask them, face to face, to give…and then lend them enough dignity and honor to let them answer?

5. Perseverance—Day after day, year after year, in the midst of incredible obstacles and spiritual warfare, never ever give up. Being devoted to living and ministering on support requires an unswerving adherence to the vision, passion, conviction, and courage only God can provide. All the slick words and gifting in the world can’t help you…but “character” will withstand the test of time.


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Support Raising Solutions
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