Raising Missionary Support
How to Raise Support for Missions Work
Some call it "deputation." Others "Support-raising." Whatever you call it, the process of support team development and raising funds for new missionaries and support maintenance for existing staff is one of the richest blessings of missionary work.
Unfortunately, while some organizations do an exemplary job of training new staff for this process, many struggle to provide recruits with the type of training and follow-up that accelerates friend- and fund-raising for more rapid deployment to field assignments. As a result, the time required for deputation can become extended to unreasonable lengths, resulting in discouraged missionaries, disillusioned donors, and depleted field staffs.
If support-raising training is done properly, then you as a missionary should benefit in the following ways:
1. You’ll experience more than just a reduced “fear of fundraising.” Rather, you’ll embrace partner development as one of the most rewarding aspects of your service.
2. You’ll understand and appreciate biblical models and examples of relationship and support development.
3. You will experience more rapid support development – whether you’re raising a partner team for the first time or you’re working to better maintain and grow your existing team .
4. You’ll develop more “healthy” relationships with supporting partners.
5. You’ll experience fewer support deficits and the difficulties that result.
6. You’ll understand the principles of accountability – to your organization, to your partner team, and to God.
7. You’ll adopt personal standards for support maintenance and learn to delight your partners through your ministry together.
8. Together, you and your partner team will see increased ministry outputs as a result of reductions of financial pressure.
But an even greater benefit of proper training is simply this: your donors and prayer partners will enjoy more consistent, meaningful communications from you as “their” missionaries and exhibit better continuity as partners with you. In fact, many will NEVER leave your support team. They AND you will experience greater levels of satisfaction with the entire process and reduced time required for your support development efforts.
Much of the training that's currently being used is, unfortunately, rather dated. In fact, some programs were created in the early nineties -- and the world has certainly changed since then!
Some of the best training courses deal with the issues that missionaries face today -- in 2011. This includes the difficult economic situation of the last several years, how to deal with aging donors, or those who simply quit, how to create a paradigm of partnership in an over-crowded marketplace and more.
One program that we really like is called "Partners for Life: How to Build, Grow and Maintain Your Missionary Support Team." It's an online training program that delivers lessons by video training sessions that were conducted with a group of missionaries from many organizations. Since it's online, you can access it anytime at your convenience. And it's super affordable, too.
There are certainly many programs available to help missionaries raise support, but Partners for Life really focuses on creating life-long partnerships with supporters. Honestly, we think that's the best form of ministry you can have.
Support Raising Training
Writing Support Letters
Where to Get Help...
How to Succeed Raising Support by Mail...
Writing GREAT Support Letters Is An ART!
Most missionaries rely on letter writing to help them raise funds from prospective support partners. But most fundraising letters -- whether they're for short-term missions trips or long-term missions assignments -- are simply bad. They all tend to sound the same and go something like this:
"God has called me to serve in _______. I'm currently raising support to cover my ministry expenses and monthly salary. I'll need $XX to be able to leave fro my assignment. Would you prayerfully consider joining my partner team to make my ministry possible?" Blah, blah, blah!
Writing letters that make you stand out from the crowd is important -- but writing letters that really engage your prospective partners and make them truly WANT to be part of your team is even more important!
You can learn How to Write GREAT Support Letters that will help you cut your support raising efforts in half! The materials at Support-Raising.com are designed to help you do just that. Be sure to check out the "How to Write GREAT Support Letters" video training course! You'll be glad you did.
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