What Do You Do After a First Gift?

By on July 1, 2010   /   Leave a comment

Think back to the last time you sent a gift for a missionary that you had never supported before. Remember? How did they respond to you? Missionary responses to first-time gifts often fall into these categories. You get:

  • Nothing, did they get the gift?
  • The missionary’s newsletter
  • A warm phone call
  • A handwritten expression of thanks
  • An email, text, or facebook thanks
  • A thank you note handwritten in their next newsletter

Which do you prefer?

Alma and I have sent lots of first-time gifts to missionaries, and often we hear little in response. The only reason we know they got the gift is because of the organization’s official receipt.

One particular missionary added us to his mailing list, but he didn’t personally acknowledge our giving. We soon decided to stop. We would have given for a long time if we had been warmly welcomed, but we felt he didn’t even notice.

Yes, I know. We give to God and shouldn’t need a thank you. But being human, we long for affirmation. Didn’t Jesus immediately affirm heavenly values when he saw them?

• He affirmed the faith of the paralytic let down through the roof.
• He affirmed the faith of the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his
servant. “Not even in Israel have I found such great faith” (Lu 7:7,8).

May I suggest this three-point plan for welcoming first-time giving partners:

1. Do it now and do it enthusiastically!
Interrupt your day and interrupt your new giving friend’s day. It’s celebration time! Don’t dilly-dally for a better time to say thank you. Here is the language I use:

“I just got our partner report and your name was on it for [$100] and I wanted to say thank you right now.”

2. Have a plan!
You don’t need a brilliant new way to acknowledge each new partner. Within 48 hours, I send a customized but standard letter (stored in my computer) with a small gift book.

I say this: “The small booklet, “Master Secrets of Prayer,” helped me years ago when I was a struggling young believer in the TKE Fraternity House. I read it under the covers at night with a flashlight as we slept in the cold room; it kept me alive spiritually. I pass it on to you with our thanks. Welcome to the team!”

3. Keep it simple! Enough said.

You can do this! If you don’t affirm new partners quickly, you communicate “I don’t care.” I know you do care, but if you are unwilling to interrupt your schedule to say thanks, you are kidding yourself about how much you understand human nature.


Latest SRS Blog Post

Support Raising Solutions
PO BOX 3556
Fayetteville, AR, 72702
1(800) 595-4881