What Wives Wish Support Raisers Knew About Them

By on March 1, 2011   /   2 Comments

I have learned some hard lessons in my life, but sometimes I’m so oblivious to them they have to “knock me upside the head”—as we say in Arkansas! Even though I’ve been married almost 28 years, have two grown daughters, and work around women on a daily basis, the female gender is still a complete mystery to me! Consequently, one of the more painful messages to finally seep into my little brain is just how critical wives are to the success of our support raising.

You see, in my typically-male, laser-focused, one-track mind (which of course, always thinks it’s right!), I have been going about my fundraising for 25+ years as if the only two people who really mattered in all this were me and the man I was asking for support.* How foolish and small-thinking I was to totally neglect our wives! Let me explain:

1. Many times the wife is more spiritual than the husband and has a more receptive heart toward God—and to you and your work.

2. Regardless of the spiritual level of each spouse, many times the husband has delegated (or abdicated?) to the wife the main decisions regarding where their giving dollars go.

3. She is normally into relationships and communication more than her husband. (i.e. Do I really believe that as soon as I email a newsletter to the husband, he immediately prints it off and rushes home to show his wife and family? No!)

I know you’ll be approaching a number of single people in your fundraising, but if you’re anything like me, the majority of the folks you meet with will probably have a job, a salary…and a spouse. So, here are some changes my wife and I have made over the last couple of years to make sure we’re fully including the husband and the wife:

  1. She directly contacted each wife and had them fill out a “Get to Know You” sheet so she could have a notebook with contact info, children’s names, prayer needs, etc…and to be able to wish them a happy birthday or anniversary.
  2. We are now emailing a copy of our newsletter to the wife’s email address too.
  3. My wife is calling or texting occasionally to get personal prayer requests from the wives.
  4. Along with my sending an occasional note (or small gifts) to the husbands, she is doing so for the wives also.
  5. Each month, my wife and I take a half day of prayer, and part of our time is lifting up our supporters. We then let them know we prayed for them.

If you want to build a healthy, long-term support team…you better not neglect the wives!

Why not brainstorm with your spouse (or with other folks on your staff) and come up with fun, creative ways to make sure you’re really connecting with BOTH the husbands and wives on your support team? For instance, how could you use Facebook, Twitter, or other media to make your supporters feel a part of your lives and ministry? Bottom line: If you want to build a healthy, long-term support team where your ministry partners are really going to stick with you (and even increase) over the long haul, you better not neglect the wives (or husbands!) when you initially ask for support, yes, but also as you regularly appreciate and communicate with them over the years.

*It’s terrible. Even this article is written almost exclusively from a man’s perspective!


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