Focusing on the Positives

Jul 08, 2021

by Brandon Thoele

Liz was already a go-getter with her support meetings and letters and was succeeding at in-person follow-up. Then, of course, the pandemic hit. 

Rather than focusing on all of the negatives of how her strategy had to shift, she looked at the positives. 

First, she discovered she could have more meetings. 

She was able to schedule significantly more personal video meetings in a week, or even in a day, than she could schedule “in person” meetings. This was because she didn’t have the drive time, the additional coffee or lunch time, and the pre-meeting chitchat (with video calls, people were more ready to dive right in). 

One day Liz had six Zoom meetings scheduled. She mentioned there was no way she could have scheduled this many “in person” meetings in a day. The results, she discovered, were actually just as fruitful as in-person.  This doesn’t negate the priority of in-person meetings, but when you...

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Keeping up Morale and Staying On-track while fundraising during Covid-19

Mar 08, 2021
By Corrie McKee

Last article, we mentioned three ministry workers who reached 100% during the pandemic: Kelli, Jenn, and Anna. Today we are going to focus on how these troopers kept their chin up during their hardest fundraising days. 

For Kelli, becoming fully funded during a pandemic after several years of fundraising was nothing short of a miracle. How did she keep up morale to persevere? She created a Core Team composed of several close donors and prayer warriors who committed to pray regularly for her fundraising efforts. She would send weekly text updates and prayer requests to this group, and everyone would respond with encouragement and more prayer. 

Prayer played a huge role for Anna as well. She said that she became more intentional about prayer than ever before during this time of fundraising. This was vital in being able to rest in God’s provision.  “If I’m not intentional with prayer, I can take on too much responsibility. I think...

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Challenges and Creative Responses to Fundraising during a Pandemic

Feb 09, 2021
by Corrie Mckee

Stressful. Frustrating. Overwhelming. Stretching. 
Just a few words to describe fundraising during Covid-19!

By now, we have all been in the midst of a pandemic much longer than we expected. Those who were hoping to fundraise in 2020 have now had almost a year to settle into raising support in this odd time. Fundraising is hard enough already, even without a pandemic. Can I get an “Amen”?!

If you are in the middle of or just starting to raise support for a missional endeavor, this article is for you. We have captured the experience of three people who attained 100% of their budget during COVID-19. 

Kelli, a campus minister in her 4th year with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, had been raising support for some time, but reached full budget during this time. 

Jennifer, a new missionary teacher in Papua New Guinea with Ethnos 360, and Anna, a Canadian missionary going to Mexico with the Christian Missionary Alliance, began their...

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Seeing Donors as Ministry Partners - Part 2

Nov 12, 2020
By Corrie McKee

After nearly a decade of living on support, fundraising was the only subsistence I had known in my adult career. My decision to transition off support and into a salary-based secular job was no small resolution.

I did not leave the mission field because I lacked financial support, and I knew that leaving the field meant leaving my donors. I truly grieved this transition of leaving my partnership with my donors. I would always have those relationships, but it would not be the same. Now they are simply my friends, but before, there was a supernatural and awe-inspiring element to our friendship. They gave me so much more than merely money. I gave them a new view of God at work in the world. It was a true partnership. 

I can think of no better way to live out a calling than to do it in the community of partners. Who else walks into work everyday knowing their picture is on the fridges of 300 people who pray for them when reaching for the milk?! If you’ve ever...

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Seeing Donors as Ministry Partners - Part 1

Jul 15, 2020

Semantics matter.
I’ll be the first to make that case.

When I first raised support to minister on a local university campus, I started with several months of “FD” or “Fund Development.” 

A few years later, my organization changed the term to “MPD” or “Ministry Partner Development.” The terminology was a welcome change! 

“Fund Development” brings up images of cold, hard cash, line items on budgets, and people writing checks. While this is helpful and a big part of our work as support-raisers, this is not the end goal nor the main point of fundraising.

What are we doing when we raise funds?

We are developing Kingdom-minded partners, creating a team, gathering a cheering squad, inviting investors, and raising up prayer warriors. 

In secular terms, think of your endeavors like a potential entrepreneurship strategy. You are inviting people to give towards a vision and invest in an important work. They are not...

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With 10,000 Beside

Jun 29, 2020

By Corrie McKee

It was a hot day in late August, and the US was right in the middle of the 2008 recession.

It was the last week before my deadline of raising the full amount to be a campus minister to university students. All I could think about were the students I would be reaching once I actually arrived. But how to get there remained to be seen.

Many well-meaning people had discouraged me from raising support at a time when the economy had taken a plunge.

But nothing could kick the divine sense I had that I was supposed to take this risk and step out on a limb.

I had done all the work needed: the letters, the phone calls, the meetings, the group presentations, the response cards, the asks. I reasoned that my network of contacts was large enough to raise half of my intern budget. By the end of the summer, I had met this goal.

Yet – there was still the other half to be raised, and I only had one week before I was to move to my campus assignment.  Months of hard work all...

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Raising Financial Support During Quarantine - Part Two

May 07, 2020

While we pray for safety, health and healing around the world, we want to share our thoughts on what fundraising might look like during this time.  We acknowledge that each of us is going to be affected in different ways, so this series is not intended to be a one-size-fits-all solution.  Instead, please ask for and seek wisdom and guidance as you consider how to apply this within your specific context.

By Debby Wisham, Corrie McKee and Haley Jones

Our last post, Raising Financial Support During Quarantine - Part One, presented some approaches for fundraising during this difficult season. We have a few more to share! Read on for a continuation of how to make the most of support raising during quarantine:

  1. Invest in new relationships

    This is a great time to broaden your support base. If you are overseas most of the time and only return for a few weeks each summer or once every few years, you may find yourself “making your rounds” in a rush....
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Raising Financial Support During Quarantine - Part One

May 05, 2020

While we pray for safety, health and healing around the world, we want to share our thoughts on what fundraising might look like during this time.  We acknowledge that each of us is going to be affected in different ways, so this series is not intended to be a one-size-fits-all solution.  Instead, please ask for and seek wisdom and guidance as you consider how to apply this within your specific context.

By Debby Wisham, Corrie McKee and Haley Jones

With social distancing and the cancellation of many in-person events, you may have extra time on your hands to refocus on becoming fully funded. However, in such a unique time, it’s important to sensitively tailor your fundraising efforts to each partner; as mentioned in the Ministering to your Partners post, it is best to become familiar with their situation before asking for support. Connect with them, thank them for their faithfulness in giving and/or praying, and ask about their concerns and...

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Practical Tips for Communicating with your Partners

Apr 16, 2020

While we pray for safety, health and healing around the world, we want to share our thoughts on what fundraising might look like during this time.  We acknowledge that each of us is going to be affected in different ways, so this series is not intended to be a one-size-fits-all solution.  Instead, please ask for and seek wisdom and guidance as you consider how to apply this within your specific context.

By Debby Wisham, Corrie McKee and Haley Jones

With so many communication options available, it’s best to thoughtfully connect with each of your partners in the most personal way possible - while keeping social distance, of course! Each situation may be a little different; you know your partners best, and you know the ways each of them would like to receive communication. 

When you are considering your audience, don’t just focus on those who give monetarily. Remember those who volunteer their time to serve, and those who have provided...

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Communicating with your Partners

Apr 14, 2020

While we pray for safety, health and healing around the world, we want to share our thoughts on what fundraising might look like during this time.  We acknowledge that each of us is going to be affected in different ways, so this series is not intended to be a one-size-fits-all solution.  Instead, please ask for and seek wisdom and guidance as you consider how to apply this within your specific context.

By Debby Wisham, Corrie McKee and Haley Jones

In this time when normal schedules are turned upside down, it can be incredibly difficult to find routine and motivation in fundraising.  Accountability is naturally decreased because you aren’t seeing people in person. If you think intentionally, however, you can use this time wisely to improve fundraising processes, rethink strategies, and reach out to partners creatively. 

This may also be a unique window of opportunity to connect with partners. Before the pandemic, many partners were so...

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