(Part six in Tim Parlier’s series on Raising Financial Support. Read part seven here.)
My wife and I spent this past week at our all-church family retreat with some amazing people from all over the U.S. and world. At the retreat I heard people share deeply of the innumerable evidences of God’s grace in their life. I also heard powerful vision of what God has put on the hearts and minds of His people around the world. I’m convinced now, more than ever, that helping push and coach people toward being 100% fully funded in their ministries is work that is absolutely necessary for seeing these visions turned into reality. I pray that this time next year we will be sharing stories of God’s grace as evidenced in His work in the area of our finances—specifically as we see people’s hearts and hands open, extending help to those around them (us too!) in worship to their Good Father.
So let’s follow up on our action plan from the last article (if you haven’t read that, go back and start there).
- Have you read The God Ask?
- If yes, awesome! I’m sure you’ve had some deep revelations from the Spirit on some poverty mindsets you’ve held and some of the ministry you’ve been missing by not journeying with Jesus in raising funds.
- If no (or not finished), then join me in recommitting to finishing the book this month. In all your goal-setting in life you have to give yourself grace to readjust and continue. Don’t let missing a target date bring the momentum in your heart to a halt. The Gospel is opposed to earning, not effort; make a new end goal (I suggest end of this month or two weeks) and recommit. Seriously, don’t skip reading this book. If you need to, find someone else in your church/organization to read it with you and hold each other accountable.
- Do you have your monthly goal written down?
- What did you decide you’d STOP doing? (Did you create more time? How much a week? You’re crippling yourself in funding if you don’t take this step intentionally.)
If you’ve answered the above three questions, let’s continue by discussing “Bite-Sized Steps” or #2 above flushed out.
OK, so you have a specific dollar amount goal—awesome! Let’s say it’s $5,000/month in new support. Right now I’m working toward $1,000/month in six weeks, and currently I’ve raised $380/month in three weeks with $620/month remaining for the next three weeks as my goal.
First, if you haven’t noticed in the book or in my articles . . . PRAY! Specifically pray for that amount. Pray for the individuals whose hearts will be moved to give to God and His work. Pray for your heart, that you’d have the boldness to ask and work toward your goals by the power of the Spirit and not shrink back.
Second, pick a completion goal. As you see above in my goal I’m raising $1,000 in six weeks, so when I sit down with a donor I know exactly how much I need. It’s not a vague end date; it’s a clear, real-time goal in the next six weeks. There is a sense of urgency and purpose in having a six-week or less goal; it helps me stay focused and prioritized, and it lets my donors know, “Hey, this guy isn’t just waiting around for some vague date down the road when he needs my help; he specifically needs me right now.” There’s a huge difference in the two.
Third, make bite-sized goals (increments). For instance, if your goal is $5,000/month, it might be overwhelming to a potential donor to meet with them and say, “I’m trying to raise $5,000 a month, and you’re my first person to ask!” However, if you start with a “bite-sized” goal (let’s say $1,000 raised a month for five months), then you have some effective specifics with your ask, i.e. “I’m trying to raise $1,000/month this month and here’s how you can help.” Your donor now knows he or she could be a critical piece of your immediate goal.
Side note: There’s something about being a donor where you want to feel like you’re tangibly impacting a goal/person. Giving $100/month into a $5,000/month goal is helping someone achieve 2% of their goal—not exactly making a “huge dent” in that view. But that same $100/month donor giving to an incremented monthly goal of $1,000 is 10% of the goal. Being 10% of someones goal “feels” more significant, and whether you like it or not the way a donor feels significantly impacts how/why he or she gives.
I fully believe YOU can raise $5,000 a month or more in three to six months. I believe this because it happened to me. I raised more than $60,000 in less than five months. I carved out time needed. I took bite-sized goals and chased them. I made face to face asks. I did group asks. I followed up with everyone I was praying for. I chickened out sometimes. I faced my fears. I faced my unbelief in who God is, and ultimately I was fully funded and have been for five years with surplus. That is all an evidence of God’s grace. He did that! My boast is in Him! That has built my faith in ways nothing besides fundraising could have. To me, money is the last bastion of unbelief for most people, including us. Let’s not surrender to fear; let us submit to the Spirit and chase the vision God has put in our hearts this year, together. Applying the Gospel to every area of our life includes the areas of fear in asking for financial support.
2 Timothy 1:6–7 says, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
P.S. if you need any coaching on these thoughts/themes specifically to your context, please email us. We’d love to see you freed by Jesus in these areas and working toward the vision He’s given you.
Have you started working on getting your ministry fully funded? Let us know how it’s going!
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