Fundraising ideas

 

Over time, my own STM involvement has required that I do my share of fundraising, and I’m by no means a specialist. It takes ideas and today… idea generation often begins with a Google search.

I want to save you a step and share some of the resources that I’ve come across and particularly like:
(note: Books & blogs come from various doctrinal confessions with great best-practices in the area of fundraising.)

Blogs:

Both sites below have premium product or content for sale, but the links provided take you to free content (articles or blog-posts).

Support Raising Solutions
People Raising
Financial Partnership Development

Books:GodAskKindle

Find the titles listed right at their Amazon store:

The God Ask (Steve Shadrach)
People Raising (William P. Dillon – *haven’t read this one*)

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General Concepts:

As a rule… Communication is key with any relationship building exercise related to raising financial partners.

  • Marketing: Whether you think in these terms or not… you must become a marketer. What are you marketing?
    • Yourself
    • Your call to missions
    • The country to which your called
    • The work that God is calling you to do there
      .
  • Principles of Marketing: Trends in marketing need to be reflected in the way you present your yourself and your STM opportunity. Currently for example…Église, Pentecôtiste, Châtellerault, Facebook, @EPUChatellerO, Twitter
    • You’re building a brand…. something that becomes immediately identifiable with you and your God-appointed mission.  
    • You need to be present in various Social Media platforms. Go where your potential supporters are. You don’t have to be a ninja on every platform… but you should be present in several.
    • Communication needs to be image-rich. The days of text-only reports, newsletters or blog posts are gone. packets_comp_b
    • Increasingly, even image-rich communication is taking a back-seat to video formatted communication. (If you can do video, great. If you can’t, don’t sweat it … at least be image-rich. I’m just a novice in this area myself.)
    • Don’t kill yourself trying to learn all of these things at once… but if you can either (a) learn them bit-by-bit or (b) get help from someone who knows this stuff… your fundraising will be further ahead.
      .
  • Keep a Personal Element: Mass communication is by far, much easier and it’s unthinkable to handwrite every request-for-support letter that you intend to mail out, however keeping a bit of a personal element in there somewhere will help your fundraising efforts.
    .
    Stop to think… how much time do you spend reading the email that’s been cc’d to 1,000 people?  Right, not that much. Now… what about the emails that have your name and your name only in the “to” box?  Right again… there’s a much better chance you’ll read it through.
    .
    Find some way to keep it personal.
    .
  • Quality Speaks: Whatever you do in terms of marketing materials, whether online or in printed form, you need to make things look good!  Pastors and church-members get many appeals for financial support, so yours must stand out.

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Details?

In a series of upcoming posts, I’ll share how I applied the ideas above into our own fundraising efforts leading up to France and since we’ve been here.

BUT… if you’ve been accepted by a sending organization and already have a time frame for your STM trip, start now!MPTeamFrance_Postcard_sm_shdw

– start reading
– start preparing
– start building resources
– start pulling together a communication strategy

Time goes quickly and the more you do now, the less stress & scrambling you’ll experience at the last minute.

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I encourage you…

STM involvement is an incredible opportunity. If God has called you and men have affirmed you (sending organization), you are well positioned to live an extraordinary life. If you have questions, leave them either in the comments section below or email me via the “E-Mail” button.

God bless your preparations!

 

4 responses

  1. Did you ever do a GoFundMe page for an AIM fundraiser? We made one and so far it’s only gotten us one donation. We have everything connected, wordpress, twitter, fb page, and Instagram.

    • Hi Michaela, thanks for your question. No, although it is certainly a very easy way for folks to give, I never went the GoFundMe route… for a couple of reasons:

      1. My understanding is that it then becomes directly taxable income (at least in Canada, where I’m from) meaning you have to track it yourself and keep some back to pay the Gov’t… I’m not comfortable enough with doing that… I like the fact that funds are funneled through St. Louis & the Canadian Office and they withhold my taxes (like a normal paycheck).

      2. We are here for between 1-2 years, so it’s important for us to have monthly donors as opposed to mostly one-time donations (although I accept those too, don’t get me wrong). For anyone giving regularly, it’s to their advantage to have it go through the regular channels (church) as it is tax-deductible gift… (“charitable giving”).

      3. *(personal preference alert)* I also think that it’s important to not bypass the church as a conduit for this type of giving… we work with local churches and everyone’s faith grows as a result of seeing this designated giving come in and flow out.

      I like the ease of the GoFundMe concept, and I think that the AIM website has something close, in terms of ease…. see here (they’re working on it).

      I hope this helps! Be diligent and patient at the same time… the Lord is faithful to bring his will to pass. 🙂

      • That’s good to know bro. Long. We are mostly doing fundraisers because we have little contacts and then doing sponsor letters for the people we do know, ect. I made handmade things and sold them for all the AYC trips I went on in years past and so I am selling at store of a lady at church. My husband is working on his Electronics degree. Bro. Sayers in Germany is an engineer and a missionary. Zachary is working towards doing the same so we can stay longer someday. We long to someday be missionaries in the GSN.

        Do you have any advice for future AIMERS that have little contacts?

      • Hmmm, you know, interestingly enough, I’d be one to consider myself as having not too many contacts as well (compared to others I know)… being mid-40s and not having grown up in Pentecost. I’ve only been in for about 18y. The best (& only) advice I could give (coming from my own experience) would be this…

        I think I can honestly say that, during the time “before” missions or the call to missions, I tried to accomplish Eph. 9.10 (“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”) I just was faithful serving in the local church in whatever ministry I was involved in at the time. One thing led to another and I eventually became Asst. to the Pastor and later editor for the District publication. Those are perhaps “big titles” but it was service in the less visible areas that made those possible. Prov. 18.16 (“A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”).

        My experience is that if we are faithful doing whatever we can “now”… then doors for opportunity & contacts will come. Word spreads about those who make themselves invaluable and are faithful in the “little things”.

        That’s the Long version (*bad pun*)… the short is this. As you serve faithfully in the opportunities that God has already given, greater opportunities for more contacts will come.

        Aside from that… “slow & steady wins the race”.

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