Three People in Your Ministry Who Should NOT Raise Their Support

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By on October 1, 2008   /   Leave a comment

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 more frustrated because there were certain roles within the ministry she couldn’t find (or keep) fully self-funded staff. In addition, she started to wonder if there were also some roles that she shouldn’t even allow them to raise their own support!

Finally facing realities, Rebecca made a proposal recommending three roles she and her board would take full responsibility for funding. Here was her list and reasoning for each:

1. Development Officer
Rebecca had brought on a gifted and motivated man to spearhead raising major gifts to the ministry, but he was continually torn between asking prospective donors to join his personal team (which was always in need!) and giving to the organization. Rebecca decided to put an end to his quandary, freeing him up to focus totally on asking every single person he met to invest in the ministry. She and her board came up with a salary and expenses package that put his mind at ease and back to work fully dedicated to raising much bigger dollars for the ministry.

2. Financial Director
As the ministry grew, the need increased for a person to do nothing but deposit, receipt, and account for the almost 2,000 gifts that came in each month. Rebecca completely trusted Lisa, the young woman who had been faithfully handling all of the finances over the previous four years, but she wanted to protect Lisa from ever even being tempted to “dip into the til” because of a personal financial need. People questioned why Rebecca included Lisa in this list of “Organizationally Funded Staff” because there had never been a hint of financial impropriety, and besides, Lisa was at full support! Rebecca acknowledged those points but pressed ahead, crafting a generous salary that would cover all of Lisa’s needs. As the leader, Rebecca was not willing to risk the reputation for financial integrity she had worked so hard to establish over the years with even one slip up.

3. Secretary
It seemed like they could never get someone in this role who could raise a healthy and consistent team of givers. Yes, Rebecca would get them trained and started and functioning in their ministry assignments, but it was just a matter of time until low support caused the secretary to cut back or drop out altogether. The ministry desperately needed someone year in and year out in this critical administrative role. Rebecca resolved to finding the very best person she could and pay them what they’re worth in order to ensure the long-term continuity and excellence she knew the ministry needed to sustain growth.

Final Word: Rebecca requested all three people ask their supporters to continue to give monthly to the organization’s general fund because now it was that fund which would be paying their salaries! Rebecca included a note in their next month’s receipt, and then all three staffers followed up with phone calls to see if the donor had received the note, understood it, and would be open to continuing to invest.

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