Developing true ministry partnership takes a certain level of leadership. It’s my experience that most people have the ability to lead in some capacity or another. But oftentimes, it’s hard to know where to start. If you’re fundraising for a ministry, you need to begin your leadership with your potential partners. They are the ministry team members you will begin to lead before you get to your ministry assignment. I'm confident you’ll see results if you implement these four principles in your partnership relationships.
Define a Shared Purpose
Providing the reason and the context for your mission will allow another to easily commit to partnering with you. You are going to accomplish amazing work for God’s Kingdom together, and it’s up to you, the missionary and leader, to define the purpose of your mission and communicate that with your partners well. However you choose to impact this world for Jesus, be a leader with your partners by being clear about your ministry purpose.
Clearly Define Roles
As a leader, it’s your job to define your role as well as the donor’s role. Most likely, your role will be engaging in ministry and continuously communicating with your partners. A partner's role isn’t always just about the money; they are your ministry partners. One partner may want to intercede for the ministry, your team, your family and you. Another may choose to be an advocate for you by connecting you to new networks. Yet another partner may have skills or expertise that might increase the effectiveness of your ministry. As the leader, you need to be prepared to provide direction for them to engage more deeply and invest in the shared mission. It’s not just about money, but instead, how can we accomplish our shared purpose together?
Foster Deeper Relationships
A great way to lead in partner relationships is to create a dialogue with your partners. Are you actively listening to them? How are you creating opportunities for this to happen? If you want to engage your partners more deeply in your shared purpose, you need to know their passions, values and desires. Both of you may discover new ways to accomplish the shared mission, deepening your impact.
Provide Authentic and Inspirational Communication
It is your job as the leader to make your partners aware of current impact, new initiatives, and adjustments in strategy. How are you communicating this impact to your partners? Your partners need for you to keep them focused on the mission. Learn to share a story that captures the difference their partnership is making in real terms. Be willing to thank your partners on a regular basis, this will inspire your partners as well as remind them of your shared mission.
Building effective relationships takes hard work and leadership on the part of the missionary. You have been called to make a Christ-exalting difference, beginning with your partners and then continuing on to the field of ministry.
Chris Blazer, Senior Fundraising Coach
With many years experience in fundraising coaching, I’m passionate about equipping believers to become leaders and influencers for the Great Commission. In my personal life, I enjoy spending time with my family, and international students in the Birmingham area.