Most missionaries begin fundraising by asking their friends and family, or current relationships, to invest financially in the work they’re doing; believing the person will invest - often - because of the positive relationship already formed with people.
However, once you’re on the mission field and far (geographically) from those relationships, it becomes harder and harder to rely on the relationship alone to sustain the funding for your ministry. One key to long term funding is to make your updates, actually all communication, impact-based.
Here’s how to change your funding to impact-based instead of relationship-based from the start or from the field.
1- The ministry is an investment
As you present this investment opportunity, be willing to move yourself out of the picture of impact and put your financial partner in direct relationship to the ministry work you’re doing. This means allowing the work you’re doing to be a common goal for all of you. You can connect your financial partner to the people, the work, and the impact on others’ lives. This will likely lead to a continued long term financial partnership with you.
You are asking people to give you money with no guarantee of return. This is, by default, an investment of faith on their part in you and the work you are accomplishing, or plan to accomplish.
Wikipedia says, “To invest is to allocate money in the expectation of some benefit in the future. In finance, the expected future benefit from investment is a return.”
The return you’re offering from your mission work is an eternal return. You are offering your financial partners an opportunity to invest in the Kingdom of God, with an eternal return on their money. There’s no better investment return than that!
2- Continually talk about your work
You will be working daily to influence people for Jesus. If you’re currently in the field, explain the ministry you’re doing daily. The sights, the sounds, the environment are all different from what people “at home” are experiencing, so bring them into your work directly.
And, if you’re just beginning fundraising, talk about what you currently believe your daily life will look like. Make an educated guess about your daily life. Even if it’s not exactly on point, you know more about your work than anyone else knows. Explain all you can to them about the people, the place, the work, the influence you hope to have on others. Connect your ministry to your financial partners with the impact that’s being made in individual lives. This way of thinking has the possibility of changing the way you begin, communicate, and update your financial partnerships, and could give you sustained long term funding.
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.