There are some principles to fundraising that are true, no matter who you’re meeting with or the circumstances of the meeting. You can gain a ministry partner in a board room of a church, or on an airplane traveling, talking with the person squished beside you.
Fundraising secrets that will get you and your organization fully funded.
At the end of your first conversation, ask if your ministry is something they would consider partnering with financially. Notice, there is a question involved, and that may be the most important part of your chat with this person.
Why? Because many people share their story of missions calling, and never get to the question of joining in financial partnership. And, more often than not, the person listening may have no clue you’re wanting to invite them into financial partnership. You're asking the question to qualify this person to further interest in partnering with you.
A conversation many of our fundraising coaches have, when a client shares that they just don’t understand why people aren’t responding, goes something like this.
Coach: “Did you ask them?”
Missionary: “Yeah, I mean they know that I’m becoming a missionary.”
Coach: “Yes, but did you ask them to join your team?”
Missionary: “Well, not directly, but it should be obvious when I share what I’m doing, right?”
Coach: “Hmm….it sounds like it’s not so obvious. What if you asked them?”
The truth is, most churches and individuals need you to ask them directly.
If you don’t clearly ask for involvement and partnership, your story could be just another great story like the other dozen missionary stories this person may have heard that very week.
2- Follow Up
So, once you’ve asked someone to join your ministry through financial partnership, you need to become the leader and follow up on the next steps.
Know what the next steps are for that particular person, church, or small group. Be a leader in your own fundraising and make the follow up happen. It is not very often that someone will track you down in order to hand you money. So, take initiative and follow up with those whom you’ve had conversations and asked them to partner in your ministry financially.
If you’re meeting with a church or missions pastor; is there a missions meeting next month? When? Mark down the date, and if you haven’t heard anything the day after the meeting, follow up. The pastor is leaving town for a few weeks and will work on it when he gets back? What day does he get back? Mark it down on your calendar and if you haven’t heard from him within a few days of his return, follow up.
Clearly set expectations of what you will be doing to follow up next with any individual. That allows them to know what to expect from you and what you can expect from them when you talk next.
If fundraising is your job, which it is, then don’t push it off on the other person. Remind them, take leadership, and initiate any follow up that is needed; including reminding them to follow through on a commitment.
Jenny Karr, Director of Training & Coaching Services
My mission is to train, equip, and support people in ministry and as the Director of Training and Coaching Services, I get to do all of those things in one role! When I’m not coaching, training, or writing blogs, I’m enjoying time at home or in the city with my husband, daughter, and friends here in Nashville, TN.