Tuesday Topic: Support Raising Help

Here’s an opportunity to really help a sister in Christ! I am sure that there are many others among us who would also really appreciate some new ideas!

From Summur @ Braley Mama: My husband and I are currently raising support to be home team missionaries for Gospel For Asia. I would like advice from all of you how it went for you when you were first raising support. What worked? What didn’t work? What do you wish you did? I know the Lord has the perfect time for us. But we feel like we are at a stand still. Thank you. God bless!

(If you would like to pose a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to formissionarymoms@gmail.com . Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, and specify also if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)


10 Responses to “Tuesday Topic: Support Raising Help”

  1. 1 Andrea Pavkov May 11, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I have experience raising support for home(US staff) and overseas staff and I would say raising for home is much more difficult. I would make sure you connect those you are visiting with your mission as a whole and human interest stories that they can relate to and see how your role will make a difference that allows for those on the “field” things to happen. People love photos so even if you are not on the field to get them your mission should perhaps have some you could use for presentation sake. I will tell you that we have had both low and good support and the difference we found is that we learned to develop and work hard at the relationships and friendships with people which takes effort on your part to call, write, spend time with people. When people believe in you and love you they will give to the mission of your heart.

    Ultimately I think support raising is four essential things:
    1) Prayer and trust in God’s provision.
    2) Friendship and relationship development.
    3) Helping people clearly understand your vision.
    4) Communication of gratitude and needs.

    Blessings as you walk out this difficult part. It’s not easy but GOD is faithful. Hope this is helpful. Just remember God’s resources do not rely on the present economy.

  2. 2 Becka May 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Be patient.
    Be forgiving.
    Be grateful.
    Be Christ-minded.

  3. 3 Alicia May 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    One of the best things we did with support raising is focus on individuals and not churches. People who know you and love you are much more willing to invest than a random church that doesn’t know you personally. I believe this also gains a broader support base for prayer.

    Always follow up your support letter with a phone call or personal meeting. Force (in a good way) people to make a decision yes or no. A lot of the time people will get your letter, think it’s a good thing and then forget about it. If you are persistent in calling and asking if they’ve heard from the Lord about being involved, people will likely make a decision one way or another. Indecision always means no though.

    Remember when you are discouraged that where God guides, He provides. If you are sure of your calling, you can be sure that God WILL provide the way. It will be in some of the most unexpected ways and you will learn dependence like you’ve never know, but it’s truly amazing to see HIM work.

    When we first started raising and living on support, I often doubted God’s ability to provide for us. 5+ years later, I have journals filled with specific ways God has obviously provided not just for our every need, but wants as well. I am so humbled by the way He cares for me. I don’t worry about needing anything now because God has been so faithful. ALL the glory is due to Him on that one.

    I’ve never personally raised support for being home based, but others in our ministry have and I know it’s more difficult. Sorry I don’t have anything specific to encourage you with in this area.

  4. 4 Erin May 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    One of the things our mission agency had us do is make a list of the top 20 people you KNOW will support you and the top 20 people you know will NOT support you. Then – look at both lists and KNOW that at least half of both lists are wrong. I say this because it was exactly the case. People we were convinced would support us never have, and people I would not have even considered asking I did, and they supported us! One of our very first supporters was a young single guy who worked in a different department than I did, whom I barely knew. I jumped at the chance to support us and 4 years later, he still supports us. We started by making phone calls to those closest to us, and has a previous person said – “force” them to give you a yes or a no – and be PERSISTANT!!! I’ll give another story in a second. Then think of a bullseye and start working out. Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. We started with a letter to every person we knew, then followed up a week later with a phone call. We sent packets to churches – our prayer card, introductory letter (make it SHORT – people don’t want to read a lot), we also included a DVD with pics and videos we had made of our ministry – again – make it SHORT – 2 to 2 1/2 minute videos each – people have short attention spans. Then a week later we followed up the churches with phone calls and even if the churches said they had already spent their ministry money for the year, try and get an appt with the mission committee anyway. You will then be on their radar. Ask to speak at the church. You may not receive the church support, but you may receive individual support. We worked this kind of system with a LOT of prayer ahead of time and raised all of our funds for 5 years on the field in 8 months.

  5. 5 Summur Braley May 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I am so encouraged by all of you for your helpful words!!!! Thank you!!!

    Andrea-You are so spot on with the friend ship advice, and I will continue to focus on that. We have been reaching out to more churches lately, but one on one has always been more fruitful!

    Becka- Wisdom…Thank you!

    Alicia-Thank you for the reminder about our calling. It seems everytime I get discouraged, He lifts me up again. Thank you for your helpful words!

    Erin-That is so interesting about the list. i have never heard of that. Thank you for your swet words of encouragement!!!!

    God bless you all!!!

  6. 6 Shilo May 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    We have been on both home staff and worked overseas.
    I would echo the friendship/relationship angle. Handwritten letters, remembering birthdays, anniversaries, having people into your home, etc. Be generous with those in need. Don’t always expect to be on the receiving end.
    Don’t let your confidence in God’s call to home staff waver. Be excited about it. Be clear about your link to what is happening around the world.
    While these things have worked for us, I do encourage you to just keep FIXING YOUR EYES ON JESUS because sometimes we do the same things and have different outcomes (support raises and dips at times). Ultimately, it is such a comfort to know that He cares for us!
    I pray He will meet your every need and that you will soon have sufficient support to function effectively in your ministry!
    God bless you!

  7. 7 Ashley L May 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I too agree so much that relationships are key! Not only for healthy financial support, but for prayer, and not to mention that their friendship will be such a blessing and encouragement to both you and them!

    Some practical ideas:

    -Sharing with small groups. Bible studies have been a fantastic way for us to meet new people. And it is just fun to share with groups! Think of all of the people that you know of who might be in small groups and ask if they might be willing to have you come share (if they are leaders) or ask their leaders if you could come share about your ministry and invite people to join with you in your mission. This is a great way for people who can’t support you financially to still help you raise the money you need! You can also ask churches that can’t support you out of their missions budget if you would be able to share with their small groups instead. If you do that, ask for the contact information of the person in charge of coordinating those groups and who would have the contact info for all of the group leaders.

    -Referrals. This is a way that people who are interested in your ministry can help you reach your goal whether or not they personally can support you. Ask them for a list of 8-10 (or however many you feel comfortable) people who they would recommend you getting in touch with to see if they would be interested in hearing about your ministry and how they could be a part of it through prayer and/or financial support. (Similar to the idea of asking people to come speak at their small groups) When you contact them just say that “so-and-so” thought that you might be interested in hearing about the ministry work that you are doing. This was really hard for us to do, but some of the people who are most involved currently in our ministry and who have become really good friends are people that we met this way!

    -A new idea that I just heard of and would like to try is hosting a gathering where you do a skype video call with someone on the field. You could have someone or a couple of people who have been influenced by the work that you will be a part of share via skype video (very easy to set up) how the ministry has personally influenced their life. Also, you could open it up for questions. Seeing actual faces and hearing testimonies is so powerful when trying to communicate vision!

    -Gift matching. Some companies will match charitable giving, even to Christian ministries. That way you can get twice the amount of support from one supporter! Our supporters who have been able to do this have been excited to have the opportunity to contribute more to our work. It might be worth asking your organization if they have a list of companies who have matched support for other members in your organization, if they haven’t already given you such information. Eager supporters could also look into this on their own by asking at their work.

    Hope maybe one or two of those might be new and helpful! We’re going to be working on our own support this summer, so it is good to hear everyone’s ideas and getting thinking about this myself!

  8. 8 Summur Braley May 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Shilo- Thank you so much for your encouragement. I know He is faithful even when I am not. Thank you!
    Ashel-I love your ideas! Thank you so very much for taking the time to write that down!!!I really like the skype and company ones!!!

    Thank you to Missionay Moms, and all of you who answered my question.
    It means so much to me!!!
    God bless you and your ministries!!!

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