How To Raise Support For Your Next Hire

I get asked a lot about raising support to hire more staff. Sometimes the support will go towards hiring an administrative assistant, sometimes a development director and other times it is for a programs director or general staff member. I'm often told that raising support for "salaries" or "operations" is really hard. I couldn't agree more. Who wants to pay for YOU to have an assistant when in many cases they themselves are feeling overwhelmed at work and would love to have their own assistant.

The paradigm is completely wrong. Fundraising is never about the position you are trying to fill - it is ALWAYS about the impact you are having and will have in the future. People won't be inspired to pay for salary, but they will be inspired to pay for impact. That is why it is so important to monetize your mission and connect their giving to impact - not to expenses. If you can't express the difference your next hire will have on your organization's impact, you probably aren't ready to fill the position and you definitely aren't ready to raise the money.

At Ministry Ventures, we have helped hundreds of leaders expand their team in a sustainable way through our coaching process. If you are feeling that your team needs to grow for you to reach your goals, we can help. I want to personally invite you to sign up for our Fall coaching group which will give you the tools you need to raise your next 10, 15, 50 or even 100K and grow your joy in leading your ministry.

What are you waiting for? I've raised some scholarship funds to help ministry leaders that are not content with the status quo break through. To apply for a $500 scholarship for our Fall 2018 Virtual Group Coaching program, click here. 

Fall 2018 Virtual Group Coaching Starts September 26th! 

 

Questions? Contact me anytime!

Mike Flink, Executive Director

mflink@ministryventures.org


Avoiding The Summer Fundraising Slump

The best reason to fundraise in the Summer is that almost no one else is.

Yes, it is harder to get in touch with people.

Yes, they are spending money and time differently in the Summer.

Yes, life is busy (let's be honest life is always busy).

The simple fact is that very few ministry leaders have the discipline to do the work in the Summer ...but if you do, it will pay off!

If cash is slow in the Summer, what can you do?

Start by praying. Ask God to fill your mind with people that he wants you to approach and ask Him to soften their hearts.

Next, reach out to the people God puts on your mind. Be willing to work twice as hard as usual on getting appointments. Studies have shown that the most effective way of engaging a donor is a face-to-face meeting. Let's get real, people can easily look past your e-mail or letters, but it is much harder to ignore a prayed up leader who is passionate about their God-given mission that is sitting across a table.

Rehearse your ask so that you can be fully present in the conversation. Spend most of the time caring for and encouraging them. At the beginning of the meeting do a time check to confirm how much time you both have, but be ready to share your ministry story and appeal in ten minutes.

Imagine a scenario where you walked into a meeting with a donor able to completely focus on them because you were ready...and when the time was right to invite them into investing in your ministry, you felt confident to do so. It's possible! If you can't tell your story and make a compelling appeal in ten minutes with complete confidence Ministry Ventures coaching can help you to turn these opportunities into windfalls and help you move from hesitancy and dread to excitement and anticipation.

Lastly, make a list of 40 people to pursue this summer. If you work hard and stay persistent, you will probably get a face-to-face meeting with 20 of them. It would not shock me if 10 of the people you meet with gave. What would ten new donors mean to your mission this Summer?

You can do this!

Join me in making the Summer primetime for fundraising!

Your friend in Ministry, Mike


Mike Flink, Executive Director

mflink@ministryventures.org

 

PS, for some of your givers that give annually, consider asking them if they would move their support to the Summer. You can mention that the Summer is often a slow season for your funding and that their gift will mean a lot in the Summer months. Many times these donors are happy to do it. Just don't ask on a week's notice. Try to plan ahead!

PPS, for extra credit try a Summer match. Ask a ministry champion if they would be willing to match the funding you raise over the Summer. This will give you more confidence as you pursue donors and allow you to accelerate your ask. Matches are magnets for new donors!

 


Donor Retention Strategies That Work!

I have found that the key to developing lasting donor partnerships is intentional personalizationThere are many pathways for a donor to connect with your ministry and you need develop situational awareness to discern what they care about.

 

One of the principles I have learned is to communicate regularly and via different mediums. We try our best to send out an annual report, a few other mail pieces a year and regular e-mail updates to our entire list of supporters. Do they appreciate knowing that we want to keep them updated? Yes. Do they read every word—almost certainly not! But that isn’t the point.

 

The point is to let them see that their investment is bearing fruit. 

 

While these types of communication are important, they should be matched with something much more personal. If you want to connect with someone’s heart, communicate with them as though they were a friend. A friend sends texts, calls on the phone, meets face to face, and sends the occasional hand written card. It is a friend’s joy to help a friend—but if every time they see that friend the friend asks them for something that joy wears thin. That’s a key reason why it is important to communicate regularly.

 

It communicates what we want for a donor not simply from a donor.

 

So how do I do this?

 

When something exciting is happening in our ministry I will snap a picture of it with my phone and then send the picture with one sentence. It might say something like, “I just had the best day connecting with and coaching a dozen ministry leaders in Birmingham—we couldn’t do this without YOUR help. Thank you for making this possible!” I get a reply to texts like this nearly every time I send one. When I am on a long drive, I bring a list of donor phone numbers and will call just to say hi and check in on them. If I catch them, I make it a personal call and will ask them for prayer requests, etc. If they ask about the ministry I will bring it up (most do), but I mainly want to let them know I am thinking of them. I typically try to pray for them on the phone before I let them go.

 

Lastly, the best way I have learned to care for donors is to take interest in their children and grandchildren. Nothing is closer to a person’s heart than their kids and grandkids. If you show love and care for them (a children’s book for their kids/grandkids is a great gift idea—we love to send “Just in Case You Ever Wonder” by Max Lucado. If their kids are older, I may offer to take them to coffee and encourage/mentor and disciple them. You can’t do this for everyone, but it truly does make a difference.

 

If you need assistance developing a personalized donor care strategy and fundraising plan, our coaching program will set you up for success!

Learn more here. 

 

Mike Flink
Executive Director, Ministry Ventures