Since this is one of the most common challenges raised in our hundreds of hours coaching, we’re going to devote the next three weeks to it. We dug deep, polled our coaches, consulted our best resources, and gathered the best of the best tips.
Let's start with three big challenges of perspective, often faced first, in order to be most successful in fundraising.
Monthly support. It’s one of those fundraising challenges that just keeps coming back up. Like a pesky fly. Only instead of swatting the fly, we’re asking you to go against all of your fears and hangups, and embrace it!
1- “It’s So Awkward to Ask Friends for Ongoing Support!”
We totally understand this concern. Many of us as coaches have been there. It’s not easy to be willing to sacrifice personal friendships - even if you’re asking friends to help you change someone else’s life!
But think of it this way: You’re not taking from your friends’ bank account every month. Instead, you and your friend are impacting this world - one auto-draft at a time - with you as their on-the-ground partner. You will be there physically, doing daily work and your friends will be there as a constant partner, ready to encourage you to keep it up.
Why do we call support raising financial partnership? Read more here.
And think about this... Perhaps working in discomfort to gain monthly donors is part of God preparing you for what comes next in your field of service. Maybe you’re dealing with fears that haven’t ever come up before. Continuous fundraising might be new to you; this is a new way of living and a new way to fundraise.
2- “I’d Rather Just Remind People Online to Give When I Have a Tangible Need.”
It seems easy to rely on online fundraising to keep you going. And while you can fundraise by asking at regular intervals on Facebook or other social platforms, it likely won’t be sustainable. People just don’t pay that much attention.
Take the “ice bucket challenge” - successful in awareness? Yes. Got donations in the door from new donors? Absolutely. Even had an impact? Yes, the funds helped them identify a gene that may play a role in the disease. But how many of you continued to follow the ALS Association, or gave again even when they sent you an appeal? I’m going to guess it’s a very, very small number.
If you want a loyal, robust team of financial partners for the long term, you have to spend the extra effort to connect with people offline, explain your vision, and ask them to be a regular, committed partner without the chance of a lapse. Back to that auto-debit from their account, remind them why those dollars every month make a difference.
3- “Email and Text is How I Usually Communicate with Friends. So No Calls Needed, Right?”
For some of you, it’s the initial phone call that you dislike. For some of you it’s the follow up phone call. And for others of you, it’s talking on the phone at all.
Wherever you may be on that scale, phone calls matter. Your voice is memorable. Clear communication is one of the key ingredients to building a sustained financial partnership team, and verbal conversations allow for the questions, comments and banter that provide clarity. We’re all aware of the ways email and text can miscommunicate a message, particularly when it comes to a sensitive issue - like someone else’s money.
SO when it comes to asking someone to commit on a monthly basis, the least you can do is take the time to call them - even just to leave a voicemail. Overseas? Set up Skype dates or FaceTime. Technology makes it so easy to use the internet to have conversations that once were not possible.
Next week, we’ll talk specifically to those of you managing field staff or who ARE field staff. What’s the most effective way to engage in monthly support asks and partnership?
Visit our facebook page and tell us your greatest fundraising challenges!
Jodie Coher, Communication Specialist
With a passion for discipleship, it’s a true joy for my writing to be a small part of sending others to the mission field. I also enjoy interacting on social media and spending time with my small family in Missouri.