What Is the Minimum Training Needed to Be Effective at Support Raising?

By on August 16, 2022   /   Leave a comment

What can I get by with?

This is a question worth asking. Maybe a better rewording: what is the minimum needed to still be effective? 

This is the question I want to ask and re-ask when looking at the various support raising training needs of my staff. If you have a robust partnership development training, such as SRS Bootcamp or something similar, then it’s tempting to use that one training for every situation. You know it’s effective! 

But what about the small needs? I’m thinking about semester interns instead of career salary. Maybe it’s staff that will have supplemental income to legitimize their visa qualifications. Think of anyone raising between $500-$1200/month.  Yes, a Bootcamp could be helpful—but is it more than necessary?

We need a solution that does not fall below the standard of being effective—raising 100% support by the deadline. Ineffective training has horrible potential results. Staff may significantly struggle more than necessary, constantly feel under-equipped, and be unable to respond to the challenges they face. They might come to question their calling into ministry and eventually give up altogether. That is someone God has called and had a work to do and because WE FAILED our part to adequately prepare them for the journey, they have pulled away from God’s calling. 

That’s serious. 

So yes, I would err on the side of over-training rather than under-training. But don’t take that appropriate caution and jump to a fear reaction of demanding everyone go through an expansive training unnecessarily. 

Why not, what’s the worst that could happen to someone over-prepared? Detour with me down a rabbit hole analogy. I have suddenly decided to run a 5K. I’ve never run before but I played sports in school. I have a friend who has been running semi-professionally and has jumped onboard to help me. She’s a little intense, but she knows her stuff and this is what she does! She has me on a 6 month plan and by the end I will be able to run a 2:30 marathon. 

That’s amazing. I will be so in shape! However, my goal was to run a 5K. To be honest, training for a marathon was a LOT of work, and it felt like it was overkill. Did I really need that whole training regime? Next time, I’m going to keep things super simple. Maybe go for a jog occasionally. 

Back to reality. What long-term ripples will occur if you over-train your staff? How will they view future training that you or your organization offers? Will they remember the tips and tools that they didn’t need to apply but will need to utilize in the future? 

Take a look at this $500-$1200/month group. In the case of Bootcamp, you are going to ask them to do 40 hours of prep work, attend 2 full days of training, and dedicate 40 hours a week to support raising. Do you see the disconnect? Yes, there are a million and one special scenarios, exceptions or reasons why you might put an individual in a 2 day intensive training. However, looking at the broad picture, you cannot ignore the ocean between someone raising 800/month for only 6 months ($4800 total) versus someone raising $7,000/month for the next 3+ years. 

Let’s return to our question: what is the minimum needed to be effective?

What defines effective? Obviously that they have the money needed. But it ALSO includes a healthy perspective of inviting partners and not begging for money. Additionally, I would want the process of them raising support to be a positive thing so that they might consider future ministry opportunities with fewer concerns than before. 

Where does that leave us? MEASURE SUCCESS!

Make sure you are checking on if you are actually achieving your desired outcome. Is it working?! 

What to measure:

  • Break down your demographics according to key types of staff that you are training (interns, college grads, international staff, families, etc.)
  • Map their success in terms of appointments made and support raised over time
  • Identify key inclines and declines and then start investigating what led to those numbers shifting? Partnership development is so much more than numbers, but the numbers help us know where to start looking.
  • Connect training experience with attrition.

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