The steps below are the foundation leading up to the ask, the moment of partnership commitment to accomplish the shared vision. The Communication Progression is all about moving people from not being involved in your ministry to becoming long-term partners.
Think of the steps of this progression as stops at a train station. We want to invite individuals to get on the train with us to go to a certain destination. They can get on and off the train anytime they want, but the goal is to bring them all the way to the final stop.
The Communication Progression gives us a map to see how far we are in involvement with each person at each stop. Once they arrive at the final destination of involvement, we will move on to continuing their involvement and managing our relationship in a healthy way.
You will be most likely to get a generous response if you take your donors through all the steps of The Communication Progression: Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Decision, and Involvement. If you do not take them through all of the steps below, you are less likely to receive higher donations and will have a greater chance of losing your potential long-term partnerships.
The first step of The Communication Progression begins with awareness. Raising awareness means, first, finding out who needs to hear about this ministry, cause, or idea; and second, discovering ways to attract those types of people. You need to learn how to bring awareness to the cause in a way that peaks interest and a desire to partner. This is the on-ramp to financial partnership.
2. Gauging Interest
The second step is gauging interest. Gauging interest is where you actually qualify the potential partner. After you create awareness, you need to qualify individuals by asking potential partners if they would like to consider a relationship with your ministry through hard or soft qualifying.
The third step in the Communication Progression is called evaluation. Evaluation is simply creating a space to talk about the direct need the ministry is addressing, and how your potential partner can be a part of the solution. This is the portion of the progression where you are gearing up to make the ask.
The fourth step is the decision to partner. The decision is the ask, where you are asking potential partners to make a decision. This is the step where they are meeting the need and you are both seeing the vision become a reality.
The final step to The Communication Progression is an ongoing relationship through involvement. In this step, you are managing an ongoing relationship with your partners that will help them to maximize their resources and the gifts that God has given them by helping them to stay involved in your ministry.
Going through each of the steps of this progression with each person in your network can be overwhelming. There are a lot of stops along the way, and it can be difficult to know how to properly qualify your donors and how to make plans for long-term partnerships.
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