16 May IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS…IN THREE’S
In my 33rd year of helping Christian organizations with their annual, capital and endowment funding needs, my conviction only deepens that it’s all about donor relationships. In our stewardship experience with over 1,500 clients here is what I have learned about those relationships….in three’s.
THE FIRST THREE:
Very likely your first financial need surrounds your Annual/Operational fund. We all understand, that is what it takes to operate your ministry on a daily basis. Capital needs (number 2) are usually about bricks, sticks and clicks. New buildings and technology, and often new personnel needs, can be rolled into a campaign. Number 3 is endowment funding which can insure a sound future for ministries. God is our supplier and He has entrusted resources to donors that can and do help offset annual and capital needs.
THE SECOND THREE:
Donors often follow our lead by becoming financial investors and fall into one of these 3 categories. They begin as Paying Customers, often by paying tuition or by joining a monthly partnership program. Through those relationships you lead donors into a capital investment and they become a Contributing Partner (number 2). This type of contribution is often larger and is most times a multi-year request involving a large gift to fund one of 3 critical P’s: Program, Personnel, and/or Property. A large gift could help fund new technology and advance new programs. Personnel might mean funding 3 new staff members and Property might mean the upgrade of existing property or the purchase of new land and new facilities. Number three is an Investing Customer, with some type of planned and deferred instrument to complete the donor life cycle by drilling deeper in this relationship.
THE THIRD THREE:
Paul the Apostle went through 3 periods of his life and ministry. First, he made no effort to obtain funds. He simply made do with what God provided. Paul considered God his primary resource………sometimes he had a lot and sometimes he actually went hungry (Philippians 4:12). So first he let no one know his needs but God. He prayed hard!
On other occasions Paul earned money by working with his own hands in order to support his personal ministry. Acts 20:24 reads “You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companion.” He worked hard!
During the third cycle of his life and ministry he very clearly asked for a gift from others. In Romans 15:23-24, Paul mentioned he would stop by on one of his journeys and ask some friends for their assistance. In 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 he reminded the church there of their financial commitment and asked them to fulfill it. He asked hard!
Determine your ministry needs, the depth of the relationship with your donors and go make an ask. Use our 3 step process to shape a request and this will become a ministry call for you and for your donors!