Susie Berner, Fundraising Coach
What gets you excited about coaching?
Helping missionaries catch a vision for the potential and privilege of building a financial partnership team. God does amazing things when you step out in faith and trust Him to move in the hearts of people whom you ask to join in His kingdom work. I love it when a missionary gains the confidence and determination to build a team, and then sends me an email when they are fully funded!
What's your #1 tip for gaining new funding partners?
Building a partnership team is like a treasure hunt; sometimes you have to dig deep and look in the most unlikely places to find those hidden partners who, quite often, are your most committed team members.
Tell us about a time where you helped someone overcome a significant barrier to successful fundraising.
Heather came from a non-supportive family who doubted she could get her funds raised, and she was very apprehensive to ask people to give to her ministry. As she put it, "The subject of money has always been difficult for me, and I get totally freaked out and flustered by it. I wake up at night feeling really anxious about fundraising."
She set up her first appointment with her small Bible Study group leader, thinking he would be supportive of her desire to teach English in East Asia. When they met, her friend had just lost his job, and his car recently broke down. He told her he couldn't give her a penny, and honestly, he wasn't sure she should go overseas. It was a very negative and discouraging first appointment.
After we talked, Heather committed to continue to meet with some of the other names on the list. But, as she prayed, she felt God telling her that she needed to have a generous heart before she started asking others to give generously. So, she gave her income tax return refund to her small group leader to help cover his car repair costs. After she did this simple act of generosity, God provided in dramatic ways through the next group of people she met with, and she saw all her support come in ahead of schedule. Even her non-supportive Dad eventually came around as he saw God provide through the Body of Christ for his daughter.
Where can we find you on the weekends?
At the beach, swimming in the pool, or planting a garden and keeping my fingers crossed that something will grow.
Where you have served as a missionary?
I served with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) for 15 years as a staff member and as the national recruiting director. My husband and I have served on short term mission trips with Mexican Medical, and Light House for Christ Eye Clinic in Kenya.