Connecting with and presenting to a missions committee can be an incredibly beneficial opportunity when you’re fundraising for missions. The hard part is that this opportunity typically comes with a lengthy process, and often requires multiple steps with multiple people. Here’s how to navigate that well.
1 - Jump Into the Process
Call or visit the church at a time during the week when you can speak with the appropriate office administrator or missions pastor to obtain the paperwork you’ll need to submit. While you’re there, you should be asking some important questions about how long you’re allotted to share, and if there is any specific information the committee will be asking you to bring.
2 - Prepare Your Materials
You should gather any helpful materials so you have them available when you’re asked for them. This may include an outline for missions committee members so they can follow along with your presentation. Remember to have available photos that communicate the need for your mission, or photos that communicate the impact of your mission.
If you have a professional quality brochure that details your mission and vision, you should use that! If not, a simple one-pager should suffice. Be sure this helpful tool includes a short personal bio, mission and vision statements, and a breakdown of your budget. Having something with a visual representation of your budget can be helpful, like a pie chart with appropriate categories. Also, you could be asked for an itemized budget which provides full transparency of the ways you’ll be stewarding the finances these people are investing in you and your mission.
3 - Communicate Your Mission Clearly
Almost as important as following up is communicating your mission well while you’re with the people in this committee meeting. Think through some of the things you’ll be highlighting while you have their time and attention, such as:
- Why should this church fund your mission?
- What is your strategic focus? And/or, How does your focus fall in line with the vision of this church?
- Why should this church invest in your area of service?
- Make a strong case for the need when answering this question.
- It should be clear to others why you need to go and serve.
- What are the details of your beginning day to day strategy?
- Are you partnering with anyone else (church, local org, etc).
- Why do you think that will be successful?
- Invite this church/board to partner with you.
- At this point, you shouldn’t ask for a specific amount.
- This is the point when you simply have a number ready if they ask.
4 - Be Ready to Follow Up
If it’s at all possible, you’ll want to address the next steps of the process before you leave the committee meeting. This is critical for you to be able to follow up at all, so make it part of your leaving the room to ask when you can expect a decision, and who should you contact to follow up. If you don’t hear from someone on the day expected, follow up immediately! Don’t wait and think you’re “just giving grace” as an excuse. You want to communicate that this decision is a priority to you, and you’re prepared to hear from this committee in a timely manner.
No matter the reason, if you haven’t established the next steps in the process, email and ask when you can expect a decision. Once you’re given a date, follow up if you don’t hear by then. If you still aren’t given a decision, continue to follow up once a week until you hear the decision that’s been made. This is creating persistence in you and allows the committee to understand how passionate you are about this church becoming a part of your team.
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