Do you ever wonder how to relate to your church partners? How often you should communicate with them? Or how much communication is too much?

The answer to all of these questions depends on what kind of partnerships you desire to have (and the work you’re willing to put into them).

Donor partnerships are the most important relationships we have as fundraisers—and church partnerships are no different. And if we want to keep our relationships healthy, then the age-old phrase still stands: Communication is key.

Whether it’s your spouse, your grandmother, your employer, or your partnering donor—frequent communication brings clarity and a sense of camaraderie.

Take a good look at the list of churches that support your ministry (or the list of churches you WANT to support your ministry) and ask yourself, “What kind of relationship do I want to have with this church?”

If your answer is a deep, meaningful connection leading to more funding—then follow the steps below:

1. Get Personal. In church partnerships, it’s important to see the organization as you would any other donor (You need to consider businesses, churches, and foundations as people too). Find a member of the staff that you can communicate directly with. Get to know this person—and let them get to know you. Checking in with a monthly phone call, newsletter, or sending this person a meaningful gift will ensure a deeper connection and clearly define the investment you are making in them. Building a personal connection with your donor is a very important part of communicating your desire for an on-going relationship.

2. Communicate to Connect. Your communication should come often and always in a way that connects the donor to the ministry. Make them feel like they are part of the team by telling them how they are making a difference in the lives of those in your ministry in a way that they can share with their church congregation and staff.

3. Invest for Investment. The investment you place into your relationships is the investment you will receive back. If your relationship is based solely on the monthly or yearly check you receive from them, the relationship will not last for very long. Building strong relationships is the key to building your donor base, and it is still key when working with organizations and foundations in general.

Remember, communication is always key in any relationship you have—even between missionaries and the church. If you want healthy, long-lasting partnerships, keep communication with your donors at the center of your to-do list.

If you have not yet made the connection with the church you want to partner with, consider 

downloading our e-book,How to Get a Generous Response (almost) Every Time You Ask. In the second chapter, we discuss how to qualify the churches and potential donors that will most-likely give to your ministry (and how to keep them giving long-term).