For Supervisors and Managers
Do you know the condition of your flocks? How well are your supported staff doing at partnership development (PD) under your leadership? If you are a team leader, manager or supervisor with the responsibility over people who have raised their support, you have a special role to fill. Do you feel like you have all the tools and training you need to coach them toward full support? This part of our Partnership Development website will help you in this area of coaching your supported staff—whether it is one person or a whole team.
As you look over the PD website, you will find a large number of new resources for your supported staff members to use. Click through the website, and familiarize yourself with its tools and resources. Take some time to read some of the PD Strategies and Tips. You can use these PD Strategies and Tips as launching points in monthly talks or team meetings about raising support.
The following ideas and tools will assist you as you coach your staff and/or team to properly prepare for partnership development.
Things to Cover in Partnership Development: Coaching
1. Getting Started:
- For both your new staff and senior staff members, we recommend that you begin using the weekly PD Report because it is a good method for obtaining the needed information on their support raising progress. You should agree upon a time for sending it in.
- As an initial tool for gathering information from your senior staff members, you may want to consider using the PD Senior Staff Questionnaire when they are struggling with their support.
- Agree whether to count new support when it's pledged or in hand.
2. Take an interest in their personal life:
- Are they struggling with debt?
- Are they taking a day off each week?
- If married, are they working together on PD?
- If married or dating, how is that relationship going in general?
- What obstacles are they facing?
- What fear issues are they facing?
- Are they feeling isolated or lonely? What can you do to give them more sense of community?
- If living at home, how are things going with their parents and siblings?
3. Ask about their walk with the Lord:
- Who is praying daily for them?
- Are they contacting their prayer partners regularly?
- How are they doing in their walk with the Lord?
- What are their greatest faith challenges?
- Are they praying about their support and for their partners?
4. See if they are gathering referrals:
- Find out if they are asking for referrals on every appointment.
- Role-play asking for referrals.
- Review the most common hesitations and some responses (PD Tips).
- Suggest looking at their contribution report for people who can give them referrals.
5. Review their strategies for calling for appointments:
- Role-play calling for an appointment.
- See if they are mentioning financial involvement.
- Remind them to ask for a specific time and date for appointments.
- Review good times for calling for appointments.
- Do they have a good place to make phone calls?
6. Review how they handle appointments:
- Review their calling-to-ministry testimony.
- Role-play asking for support.
- Calculate a special needs goal. See if they are using the PD Presentation Album/PD PowerPoint with the Make Your Own Brochure as the leaving piece.
- If needed, review how to present the PD Presentation Album.
- See if they are asking for a decision at the appointment.
- See if they are asking for a decision the next day if the prospective partners need more time.
7. Be sure they understand the donation options:
- Explain the use of the Donations Form (put in the PD Presentation Album).
- Do they know what to do when a check is made out to them?
- Are they encouraging donors to use the Direct Giving option?
8. Review how they handle questions from partners:
- How to explain their support goal when asked.
- How to handle questions about how long the commitment is for.
9. Ask about their communication plan:
- Ask them to send a copy of their monthly prayer letter to you.
- Review the prayer letter do's and don'ts (see PD Tips).
- Explain why we don't send prayer letters via e-mail.
- Are they calling lapsed partners?
- Are they sending thank-you cards?
10. Help them think about other PD strategies:
- Generating Contacts through a Key Person.
- End-of-the-Year Ask Letters / Monthly Increase Ask Letters (see the PD Strategies).
- Small Dinners or Desserts hosted by an advocate.
11. Refer them to different resources and tools:
- Funding Your Ministry by Scott Morton.
- The Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen.
- TntMPD – this is a software program made especially for WA supported staff members to track their donors and will interface with the WA Finance Department to give real-time, up-to-date donation information for their donors. If you, as their coach, are a supported staff member, you will want to lead the way by using TntMPD if you are not already using it for your donors.
- Training website and Partnership Development pages – Point out “Getting Started” with the following page, “Where Do I Begin?” There is an accompanying stair-step process that lays it all out for them.
- Send them a greeting/encouraging card or postcard.
Coaching Ideas: 20 Activities You Can Encourage Your Staff to Do for Better PD
Think of how motivational it could be if you encouraged your supported staff members to spend just one day per month working together on partnership development. Here are a few ways you can encourage and coach your supported staff.
- Download the TntMPD software onto your computers, and watch the webinars to learn how to obtain up-to-the-minute real time financial information about your ministry account from the WA Finance Department in Orlando.
- Read one or several of the partnership development tips or strategies found on the Resources Website.
- Read through the Annual Plan strategy; develop your own plans.
- Write an increase letter that you will use during the year.
- Write your special needs letter if you are going on furlough or making a PD trip back to the States.
- Write a standard letter to use to recapture lost support.
- Write your End-of-the-Year Ask letter.
- Make phone or Skype calls to recapture lost support.
- Call back people to whom you have sent letters.
- Write personal letters or postcards to your key ministry partners.
- Call or e-mail key ministry partners, offer an update, request prayer, and pray for them as well.
- Write thank you notes.
- Study TntMPD’s 13-Month Contribution Report, and determine what appropriate action steps to take. Read Funding Your Ministry by Scott Morton or any other book that makes you more effective at PD.
- Decide upon some action steps.
- Work on your monthly prayer letter.
- Review the PD tips on writing prayer letters; then practice writing and sharing your stories.
- Add a donation button to your email (see PD tips).
- Gather pictures and work as a group on a PD PowerPoint or video for your assignment location, people group, and team.
- Create your own website or blog (see PD tips).
- If your newsletters lack powerful changed-life stories, pray and go out to share your faith using basic evangelism techniques; then write down the stories of your experience.
Used with permission from Campus Crusade for Christ
PD Report and WA Senior Staff Questionnaire
Go to Tools and Resources Catalog under "Reports".
The Annual Plan
Strategically Planning Your Year of PD
Staff members are needing increased support each year because of inflation, the rising cost of living, increased ministry expenses, and lost support, and thus support-raising is taking more and more of their time away from their assignments. Proper partnership development requires that PD be thought of as a process and not as one event.
Traditionally, many staff members have taken just one extended time during the year to raise support, especially if support-raising means going home on furlough. However, it now seems prudent that our staff work on their support year-round. To do this, it is essential that you strategically plan your year of partnership development if possible.
One thing we have to remember is that support does not run on auto-pilot. You have to monitor it, plan it, and stay on top of it. Therefore, it is important to evaluate your support situation at least once each year. Once a year, then, it is necessary to:
- Determine the amount of support you can depend upon.
- Determine the amount of support you will need to fund your ministry.
- Develop a strategic plan for the year to raise the needed funds, both monthly and special.
It is important to recognize that not everyone is highly gifted in administration. Still, you don't have to be an administrative genius to pull off a good strategic PD plan. On the other hand, it may take extra discipline on your part to integrate support-raising into your schedule throughout the year. Depending on the amount of support you need to raise, you may still need to spend a concentrated period of time on support. The difference is this: when you strategically plan your year of partnership development, you are moving away from a crisis-management style of raising support.
Developing an annual PD plan will get you over the motivational hump. A good partnership development plan will also give you a mechanism to keep going when you encounter obstacles. Here’s how a PD plan helps you:
- It allows you to focus your effort.
- Instead of PD being hit-and-miss, or dominated by a crisis mentality, an annual strategic partnership development plan allows you to take action instead of reacting.
- It lets you recognize and take opportunities with confidence.
- It helps you make decisions more easily.
- It helps you overcome defeat and roadblocks.
Yes, it’s easy to be excited about ministry when things are going well, when your ministry account is full and you are able to reimburse all your ministry expenses out of your ministry account. We encourage you to consider keeping up with your partnership development, attending to it as often as it takes to keep you on the field and well supplied for the months and years ahead.
If you are interested in reading further, the following steps are also posted on the PD Strategies web page and will help to walk you through the process of Strategically Planning Your Year of Partnership Development:
- Conducting a PD Review (evaluating your current support and needs).
- Thinking Through Your Annual Calendar (planning what you will do on PD this year).
- Completing Your Strategic Plan for this Year (putting action to your plan).
Thinking through your Annual Calendar
The goal of this step is to think through what actions you will ask those on your mailing list to take in regards to starting to give, increasing their giving, or giving a special gift.
Plan When to Ask:
- You can start your Strategic Plan by looking at your annual calendar and determining when to send an ask letter.
- The end-of-the-year ask is in the time period of September through March, with the letter going out within one week after Thanksgiving. For more information, go to the PD Strategy section of the WA Training website to read more about the End-of-the-Year Ask Strategy, including the Timeline for Writing End-of-the-Year Ask. Send your midyear asks out from mid-April through August. Remember to plan some “space” before and after the end-of-the-year ask.
What to Ask For:
- You want your ask to be for something to meet your immediate needs. So take some time to determine your cause or reason for the ask. It might be:
- Summer assignment
- Medical need
- Car repair or replacement
- On-going ministry needs
- If it is for on-going ministry needs, make sure it is tied into your vision for your ministry.
Who to Ask and How Much:
- This section of your strategic plan may take a bit of time as you look through your list of current donors and their giving history. For your April through August ask, segment your mailing list. Use TntMPD or the Strategy Planning Worksheets for segmenting your list into categories:
- Those that support you in some capacity.
- Those that you are cultivating for future support.
- Friends and family members you want to stay in touch with but will not be asking for support.
- Further segment those who support you regularly into monthly, annual, and quarterly partners. Think through their giving history, and segment them the following ways:
- Those you will not ask.
- Partners you will ask to increase their giving. You can ask people to increase every two years.
- Partners you will ask for a special gift instead of an increase.
- For partners who give annually, determine when their gifts are due and when you should ask them to give again.
- Partners who have missed two months in a row. Call them to find out if there has been an error. Don't write them. Calling will enable you to build your relationship and will help you determine what the problem is and how to solve it.
- Partners who are always inconsistent. Try to have them start giving by Electronic Fund Transfer. If they do not want to do that, don't try to get them to be consistent. Instead, ask them only for special gifts.
- Now what about those you are cultivating for future support. There may be people on this list who used to support you but stopped for one of the following reasons:
- They had a change in desire and no longer want you to depend on them for monthly support.
- They stopped supporting you because of financial circumstances in their lives. You can ask them for special gifts since their inability to give monthly may not keep them from giving a special gift.
- For all other, determine who you would like to ask to support you monthly. Ask the rest for a special gift.
General Rules of Thumb
Overall, give people at least three opportunities to support you. If they continue to say “no”, remove them from your mailing list.
Add Christians you meet at church and in the community to your prayer-letter list. Six months after you have begun sending them your prayer letters, meet with them and ask them to support you.
- Make a list of those who have missed for two months in a row, and call them that week.
- Make a list of those who have given an extra gift, and write them thank-you notes. Be sure to get referrals from those on your mailing list.
- Read the PD Tip: "Generating Contacts Through a Key Person." Once a month, evaluate your 13-Month Contribution Report.
- One of the steps to Strategically Planning Your Year of Partnership Development is called Completing Your PD Plan and will expand your annual calendar to include the following:
- Timing of Prayer Letters.
- Planning a Support Trip.
- Planning to use the Small-Dinner Strategy.
- Planning a Referral Ask Trip.
- Using the Letter/Telephone Strategy.
- Working on Your Support from Your Assignment.
Conducting a PD Review
This is an excellent opportunity to mention that if you are not yet using TntMPD, we would highly suggest that you begin to do so. Wycliffe Associates has made it possible for you to download your ministry account information onto your computer in real time. In this way, with one click, you are able to download up-to-the-minute donations and history into your account including all contact information about your donors.
What is reality?
- The first step in developing an annual PD plan is to do a reality check. You need to determine how much solid support you really have and what your goal needs to be. Only the support that will be repeated (monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.) may be counted as monthly support.
- It is necessary to adjust each ministry partner's pledge to reflect reality, i.e., the average amount you can actually depend upon to come in.
What are your real needs?
Support needs vary with each single person and each family:
- Along with your manager and/or Human Resources, determine which level of support best meets your needs as a single or as a family.
- Calculate your monthly and special needs support goals by using your personal budget and the Support Goal Worksheet to help you think through what personal and ministry expenses will change this year, such as the following:
- Moving to a new assignment
- Housing expenses
- Increased emergency savings
- Savings for a future auto purchase
- Christian education for children
- Change in family (getting married, expecting children)
- Medical expenses
- Short-term missions projects
- Special conferences, etc.
- Retirement or 403B funding
Use your Income and Expenses Statements from your ministry account to analyze what you reimbursed and transferred out of your account for the past year. If you have had money for mileage transferred into your account, those figures may appear as transfers.
Long-term Wycliffe Associates staff members who are trying to raise support should be given time to do it. As you continue in your ministry, it is important to take the time needed to increase your support, so your salary can continue to be increased to cover the continual cost-of-living increases and attrition each year. Attrition in partnership development is the eventual decline in support each year resulting from donors aging, donors changing their priorities for their giving, and events such as death, emergency, sickness, and the like. For planning purposes, it is important for the long-term staff member to take attrition into account. (The average attrition rate is 6% each year.) Staff members are encouraged to increase their support so that they can function with freedom in their ministry and stay on the field as long as they can.
Completing Your PD Strategic Plan
Now that you have decided when to send an ask letter and have placed it on your annual calendar as part of your Strategic PD Plan, you are ready to add the following to your plan: a schedule for sending out your prayer letters, a support trip, implementation of the small-dinner strategy, a referral ask trip, a schedule for using the letter/telephone strategy, and working on raising support from your assignment.
Timing of Prayer Letters:
- Develop the conviction to communicate with your partners once a month at a minimum. It is essential to successful, long-term partnership development that you mark on your calendar the times for sending your prayer letters. Donors expect monthly communication, and they are more likely to drop off your team if you limit your communication to quarterly newsletters.
- As a measure of grace in this situation, you can send a simple postcard as a form of communication (once a year at most) and plan to send a Christmas card in December. Though a short email asking for prayer is communication, it is recommended that you send a full-page newsletter via “snail mail” so that all the members of the family can read it and so that they have your letter available as a physical reminder of their commitment to give.
Planning a Support Trip:
You will need to determine two strategies:
- What you will be able to do from your assignment.
- What you will have to accomplish through support trips. The amount of time you need for PD will be in direct proportion to how critical your need is. Discuss your plans with your manager, another supported staff member, or a coworker to get some feedback.
Let’s look first at some matters to consider before you leave your assignment to work on raising your support. Here are some important questions to ask that may help you plan the right time to go on a support trip:
- Would it be best for you to work on local contacts and your mailing list before leaving?
- Is one time of the year best for going back to your support base?
- Have you talked with your supervisor about timing?
- Before you leave your assignment to raise support, your PD Trip Plan may need to be submitted to the manager. This plan may include time parameters for your PD trip, the location, etc.
- Next, think about where you need to go for a support trip or where the Lord is opening a door for you. Who can host you? It may be advantageous to open a support base in another city. If some of your partners have moved to other cities, consider opening a base in one of those cities. If you need to find someone to stay with in a new city, check the Hospitality Roster.
- It's frustrating to arrive at your destination and ask yourself, “Where do I begin?” It often takes two to three weeks of calling ahead to connect with people in another city and get the ball rolling.
- Planning and preparing before you leave will make your PD time more productive. Part of preparing is to schedule time on the annual calendar before you leave and to set up as many appointments as possible for the first week of the trip.
- Be intentional about meeting with people during the day. Use breakfast and lunch. You need to make good use of your time.
Depending on the size of your family, the ages of any children, and the overall family dynamics, it is crucial to consider some realistic and unrealistic expectations for support trips:
- “Should my entire family go on this support trip?”
- If at all possible, we suggest that husbands plan to go alone if the family is at a stage in life where taking children would cause extreme stress for everyone. In that case, you will want to limit your PD trip to two weeks.
- If you do make the PD Support Trip with the entire family, here are a few tips:
- Don't expect the wife and children to go on all the appointments. It's not necessary. You need to find what works best for your family.
- Don't expect your children to be able to handle an adult schedule. Consider this: How many nights in a row can you keep your children out late? Not only will they be bouncing off the walls, but everyone will be miserable, including those people with whom you are meeting.
- Plan time off with the family while on the trip.
- It's stressful to live with another family, even if they're good friends or parents or relatives.
Using the Small-Dinner Strategy:
- If you can take only a short trip, think about using the Small-Dinner Strategy, which may be an effective approach to raising your support. The Small Dinner is a strategy that can easily be used in a short block of time. You can take three days off, drive or fly to your support base, and have two dinners. Two small dinners could be the equivalent of eight individual appointments.
Planning a Referral Ask Trip:
- If you need referrals, think about taking a short trip with one objective: to raise up referrals. Don’t go on appointments to ask for support. Instead, go to raise contacts. Then go back for another trip to meet those people.
- When you have referrals, ask the people who gave them to you to write a letter of introduction before you go on the trip. Call from your assignment to set up the appointments before you go on the trip. This strategy is called The Referral Ask Trip and is found in the PD Strategies section of the Training Website.
Using the Letter/Telephone Strategy:
- You can easily mail out a handful of letters at a time and call those people back in one week.
- Write your letters several weeks before you actually intend to send them out. Doing this will give you time to mull them over, tweak them, and pray over them. For monthly challenges, increase, and special gifts, the letters can be similar to previous versions, but you can keep them fresh with new stories. The ask paragraph is the one that varies.
- If at all possible, follow up with a phone call instead of using a response device. There are great advantages to the follow-up call. When you call someone, you have another opportunity to build your relationship with that person. You will most likely learn some things about him or her that otherwise you wouldn’t have known. Be sure to take notes in your TntMPD database. You’ll find your notes helpful each time you call or write to your prospective donors.
- A follow-up phone call will allow you to learn of any decision about support. Many missionaries use response devices because they hope to shorten the support-raising process and because it seems more comfortable. Your goal is not comfort. It is to build relationships with those who support you.
- The appropriate place to use the letter/response card is in the end-of-the-year letter. People are often caught up in Christmas activities and feel too busy to talk. On the other hand, they are more motivated to respond to giving requests at that time, so it is a great time to use a simple response device.
Working on Your Support from Your Assignment:
The final step in filling out your annual PD calendar is to determine what you will do about your support when you are at your assignment. Again, successful long-term missionaries find that longevity involves planning out segments of their normal work week on the field to focus on PD:
- To start, you may need to block out time in your weekly schedule. Remember that when you are called to ministry, your work week is not 40 hours. Ministry is not an 8-to-5 Monday through Friday job.
- If you can, plan to work on PD one night per week. You may need to do some ministry activities, such as support, in the evenings or on weekends.
- The ability to raise support from your assignment is affected but not limited by the following:
- The amount of support you can raise from your mailing list. If you have severe support needs, trying to raise support solely from your existing mailing list will be inadequate.
- The amount of support you can raise in the city of your assignment.
- If you have used the above strategies and still have not reached an agreed-upon (with the manager and possibly HR) minimum support goal, you will most likely need to leave your assignment to raise the rest of your support.
Annual Plan Worksheets and Partnership Development Planning Worksheets
Go to Tools and Resources Catalog under "Worksheets".
Per Diem Procedures - for Food/Lodging Reimbursement from Ministry Account
Wycliffe Associates, Inc. Per Diem Procedures for Ministry Account Holders on Assignment
While on assignment, WA agrees to reimburse holders of ministry accounts using a per diem allowance. A per diem allowance is a fixed amount of daily reimbursement for housing, meals, and incidental expenses when you are away from home on a ministry assignment. A per diem allowance satisfies the adequate accounting requirements, and therefore receipts are not required as long as proof of time (dates), place and business purpose of expenses are provided. Per Diem requests should be submitted within 60 days from the assignment end date or for long term assignments per diem requests should be submitted monthly. Per Diems are only eligible for those on assignment less than one year.
The following procedures should be followed when submitting a per diem request:
- Per Diem requests should be entered via WA’s online reimbursement system, ExpenseWire (www.expensewire.com). Please contact email@example.com to request login information and user instructions. Once your account has been set up in ExpenseWire, you may submit a Per Diem request. Please include the date range, location, and purpose (i.e. meals, lodging etc).
- Your supervisor or SVC will receive notification of your request and approve for processing. You will then receive payment via direct deposit.
- Per Diem rates are $40 per day for an individual and $60 per day for a couple.
- Per diems will be issued from funds received into the ministry account up to the ministry account balance. If sufficient funds are not available at the time of the request, the requester may resubmit the following month but no more than 60 days after the assignment is complete.
- For those on assignment longer than one month, per diem requests should be submitted on a monthly basis.
- Ministry expenses that do not fall under the per diem allowance such as airfare, visa/passport fees and immunizations, may be submitted using ExpenseWire along with supporting evidence. If an item is not considered a normal ministry expense and/or is older than 60 days, it would be reimbursed to the volunteer as taxable income via a 1099 form.
Business Expense Policy-For All Other Reimbursements
Business Expense Accountable Reimbursement Policy (Internal Use – Not a Public Document)
Background: The following policy has been drafted to allow Wycliffe Associates, Inc. (“WA”), the ability to reimburse employees, supported staff and volunteers of WA under an accountable reimbursement plan. According to tax regulations, business expenses reimbursed under an accountable reimbursement plan are not reported as taxable wages to the employee on Form W-2 and are exempt from the withholding and payment of employment taxes.
In order for WA’s business expense reimbursement policy to be considered an accountable plan, the following requirements must be met:
- Expenses must have a business connection (personal expenses such as clothing and personal hygiene items are not reimbursable).
- Expenses must be adequately accounted for to WA within a reasonable period of time.
- Excess reimbursements must be returned to WA within a reasonable period of time.
- Reimbursements are to be made with WA funds not reducing the employee’s salary.
- Employees: WA agrees to reimburse for any ordinary and necessary business and professional expenses incurred on behalf of WA provided the following conditions are satisfied:
- The employee must provide adequate accounting for reimbursed expenses.
- Expenses are to be reasonable in amount and approved by WA management.
- Employees are to document the amount, date, place, business purpose (and in the case of entertainment expenses, the business relationship of the person or persons entertained) of each expense with the same kind of documentary evidence as would be required to support a deduction of the expense to the employee's federal tax return. Employees are to substantiate such expenses by providing WA with an accounting of such expenses no less frequently than monthly (in no event will an expense be reimbursed if substantiated more than 60 days after the expense is paid or incurred by an employee.)
- The employee must return reimbursement amounts that exceed the amount of the business or professional expenses within 120 days after the expenses are paid or incurred by the employee.
- WA shall not include in an employee’s Form W-2 the amount of any business or professional expense that has been properly substantiated and reimbursed according to this policy. (The employee should not report the amount of any such reimbursement as income on Form 1040.)
- WA will retain all receipts and other documentary evidence used by an employee to substantiate business and professional expenses reimbursed under this policy.
- Travel Expenses: "Generally, a temporary assignment in a single location is one that is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for one year or less. However, if your assignment or job is indefinite, the location of the assignment or job becomes your new tax home and you cannot deduct your travel expenses while there." - IRS Pub 463.
THEN You Can Deduct the Cost of…
Travel by airplane, train, bus or car between your home and your business destination.
Taxi and Commuter Bus
Fares for these and other types of transportation that take you between:
Baggage & Shipping
Sending baggage and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations.
Operating and maintaining your car when traveling away from home on business. You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as business-related tolls and parking.* If you rent a car while away from home on business, you can deduct only the business-use portion of the expenses.
Lodging & Meals
Your lodging and meals if your business trip is overnight or long enough that you need to stop for sleep or rest to properly perform your duties. Meals include amounts spent for food, beverages, taxes, and related tips.
Dry cleaning and laundry.
Tips you pay for any expenses in this chart.
Other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel. These expenses might include transportation to or from a business, meals, computer rental fees, etc.
- Create an expense report and submit receipts via WA’s online reimbursement system, ExpenseWire (www.expensewire.com). (If you are not registered with ExpenseWire, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for login information and user instructions.)
- Receipts must be uploaded for all expenses equal to or greater than $75.00.
- Submit your expense report via ExpenseWire.
- Your WA manager will review, approve and submit for processing.
*Per diem requests may be submitted in lieu of submitting actual expenses if approved by a manager. Please see per diem policy for proper procedures.
Used with permission from Campus Crusade for Christ