Many of you are terrified of meeting with friends and family, so let's talk about overcoming a fear that could truly hold you back from including crucial financial partners.
With those we love most and know best, there is a God-ordained empathy toward showing such vulnerability, like asking for finances. This is not unique to finances though, there has likely been many points throughout the relationship that have exposed vulnerability to one another. The most important part of overcoming this fear is to trust that God will call those you love to give as they are led, just like He will all others.
Practically, How to Ask
1. Acknowledge the importance of the relationship: its future is not dependent upon a monetary gift. Friends and family already know this, but it's important to say out loud when there's a chance.
2. Acknowledge that it isn’t easy for you. These are the people that know you best! They can tell how you're feeling, so allow them into your story more candidly.
3. Be direct. Explain your process, how you’ve prayed, and how you want to be bold in asking. With relationships we care about, it's a greater disservice to avoid asking for financial partnership than it is to just simply ask.
4. Be aware of your own feelings of guilt. Fight the desire to believe that how much someone gives is an indicator of: either how well you presented your vision and mission to them, or how much they care. It's obvious that's a wrong perspective, but admit it's a possibility and choose to fight that feeling; generosity is about the giving, not the amount.
5. Acknowledge boundaries between yourself and your friends and family when you approach them. You are not responsible for the decision they make or for how they respond. God is the guardian of their hearts and emotions, not you.
6. Save these conversations with close family and friends for your 3rd or 4th wave of contacts, after you feel comfortable in the atmosphere of financial partnership. If that's what helps you to be confident in your asking for financial partnership from close friends and family, then save them for a little later if you need to.
7. Remember that if someone has agreed to meet with you, they want to.
8. Trust God, not yourself. If it's appropriate, pray together. And pray beforehand, for your ministry, your relationship, their receptivity, and your own receptivity to any response.
Emily Buikema, Fundraising Coach
To have the chance to breathe joy into asking for financial partnership, which can be alarming to so many, makes me honored to fill this role. I love my current home in Colorado, and I intend to hit (almost) every stereotype for the state’s residents: hiking, taking my two perfect dogs on walks by the river, driving my truck to the lake, and doing all of it with people I really like.