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. However, now that you are in your passport country for the foreseeable future, you’ll have more time than normal to devote to developing relationships. These may need to be online, video chat, or otherwise remote relationships, but they are still a wonderful opportunity to participate in weekly prayer gatherings, small groups, etc. that you may not have had time to visit in a typical summer or furlough.

  2. Ask for referrals

    Bring back the old tradition of asking for referrals; this is something you may have done when you first started building your support team from scratch. Now you can find new people who may be interested in hearing about your work. As you call to check in with current partners, ask: “Would you consider providing names of a couple people who may be interested in hearing about my ministry?” Ask if they prefer to give you an introduction via text or email, or if it’s ok for you to simply call this potential new partner and mention the name of the friend who referred them to you.

  3. Use newsletters wisely 

    Newsletters can be helpful, but don’t rely on your newsletter as the primary method of raising support. Think of it as a primer to prepare your supporters for your personal interaction following soon after. A study done by The Navigators (Scott Morton) found that 14% of partners gave after receiving a newsletter, but 27% gave when that letter was followed up with a phone call. (And that rose to 46% who gave when they were asked face-to-face. That could include Zoom or FaceTime!)

    First, only send out letters to as many people as you can quickly call in a few days. You don’t want them to forget receiving it! Write in your newsletter that you will be calling them soon to check in, and then schedule your calls in batches. 

    Your newsletter can explain the general news of how you have been dealing with COVID-19 and the quarantine, and it can mention some of your general needs, but save specifics for the phone call.

  4. Stay positive

    Finally, strive to keep your communication positive. Pepper gratitude throughout your communications, even if partners are not in a place to give. Arnold Kimmons, fundraising coach with the organization Mission Increase, mentions having a “transformational giving mindset.” In this perspective, the partner is transformed just as much as those you are reaching through your ministry. Continue to let your partnership development be just that: raising up people who will partner with you, fueled by God’s vision for reaching the world, just as you care for them with your prayers and concern in a genuine time of global need.

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