PD STRATEGIES

As you work on developing your financial support, whether for the first time or on an on-going basis, you will soon come to realize that it is good to be familiar with as many different strategies and get as much information as you can about raising support. We are providing this section of PD Strategies to equip you with some ideas so that you can have a fresh, positive, faith-filled, and renewed vision and approach to partnership development.

Overview of PD Strategies

If you are going on a four-week trip or less and need to raise just enough to reimburse your travel expenses, you may choose to buy only the Funding Your Ministry book and also review these PD Strategies to familiarize yourself with some of the basic strategies for partnership development.

On the other hand, if you are expecting to go for a length longer than four weeks, we would like you to take in some of the Partnership Development Training we have available. Once you begin your partnership development, we recommend that you browse through the PD Strategies now and then to refresh your memory and challenge you with more support raising strategies. What works today in partnership development may not work tomorrow.

Note:  Have you found a strategy that works well for you as you raised your financial and prayer support? Would you like to pass it on to others? Let us know by emailing us at resources@wycliffeassociates.org and we will be glad to share it with others.

Overview of Partnership Development (PD) Strategies

  1. How many people will you contact? (quantity)
  2. Does each contact desire to give?  Is the contact able to give? (quality)
  3. With the help of the Holy Spirit, will you work hard, work smart, and work efficiently?
  4. Think through which strategies you will employ from one location.
  5. Develop a realistic picture of how long you will need to stay in one location to carry out your PD strategy.  Most strategies require that you go to one location and work those strategies for an extended period of time.

Wycliffe Associates places a high value upon relational PD.  Most partnership development takes place when you meet a friend or referral in his home, office, or a restaurant to present your ministry.

Small Dinner Strategy

This is a highly relational and effective PD strategy. As you develop your relationships, a key person or couple that you know may surface along the way. This key person or couple becomes an advocate for you as they invite 2-4 other individuals or couples who are close Christian friends to their home for dinner. The friends know ahead of time that they will be meeting a missionary friend (or couple) of the host(s) who will present his or her ministry.

Key People

You may also want to involve key persons or couples by asking them to contact others or even set up appointments on your behalf. Usually this key person is well-known and has many connections.

Business Community

Sometimes you can meet and connect with local businessmen and women by speaking at the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Lions, CBMC, and other similar groups. After speaking to a group, try to meet personally with those who attended. Present more information about your ministry and ask them for support during these individual appointments.

Letter/Telephone Strategy

When you have contacts in another city and it is not possible to travel to that city to meet with them, use the Letter/Telephone Strategy. This strategy involves making your presentation through a letter and then following up with a phone call to get a response.

Working through Local Churches

Support can come from several different sources within a church.

  1. Individuals.  As was mentioned above, on average, most of your support will come from individuals, families, and businessmen and women.
  2. The missions program.  Church Missions Committees have many more opportunities to support people in ministry than they have resources within their churches. With non-profit donations down 15% to 30%, churches are overwhelmed with new requests for missionary support. It would be the exception to the rule for a staff member to have most of his or her support given through churches.
  3. Sunday School classes.  Whether it is your church or another one, begin by asking for permission from the pastor or someone else with authority to talk with individuals about your support needs. Often a staff member has many contacts in his own church. You would begin with those contacts and ask for referrals.
  4. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, CALL THROUGH A CHURCH DIRECTORY!

Namestorming

Start developing an initial list of potential ministry partners. As with brainstorming, in Namestorming there is one cardinal rule: anything goes. No name is unqualified. Don’t decide for an individual whether or not he or she is interested. If you limit yourself to those you think will or can give, you may prematurely disqualify those whom God wants to become ministry partners. Later you will need to prioritize whom to contact first, but for now, don’t disqualify anyone. You may be thinking you could never generate more than a handful of names, but research has shown the average individual has a personal network of at least 400 friends and acquaintances. So, you should easily be able to develop a list of at least 50 potential ministry partners.

                                                                                                                            Namestorming Exercise

Parents                                            

Hospital personnel                          

Coach

Brothers

Rotary Club

Teammates

Sisters

Community leaders

Realtors

Labor union representative

Milkman

Veterinarian

Former employers

Family attorney

Grocery store

Former customers

Christian business groups

Apartment manager

Relatives

Beautician

Real estate agent

Friends of parents

Barber

Dog groomer

Accountants

Church friends

Civic clubs

Former salesman

Policemen

Mayor or other civic leaders

Architects

Foundations

Church missions committee

Avon lady

Wedding lists

Sunday school classes

Florist

Garbage collector

Church directories

Mailman

Neighbors

Pastors

Missionary societies

Former neighbors

Downtown businesses

Banker

Shoe salesman

Church-related newspaper ads

Parents’ employers

Editor of local paper

Military personnel

Parents’ associates

Butcher

Bible studies and prayer groups

High school teachers

Baker

Christmas card lists

College professors

Advertising agencies

Chamber of Commerce directories

Sorority sisters

TV/radio stations

People you have led to Christ

Fraternity brothers

Bottling companies

Referrals

High school friends

Printers

Telephone directory

Dentist

Plumber

Engineers

Dentist’s nurse

Servicemen

Coach

Doctor

Tax men

Teammates

Doctor’s nurse

Retired people

Realtors

Dermatologist

Bible bookstore

Veterinarian

Dermatologist’s nurse

Insurance salesmen

Grocery store

Service station manager

Morticians

Apartment manager

Kiwanis Club

Bank presidents

Real estate agent

                                                                                           

Write

After taking an hour or so for freewheeling Namestorming, label each contact either ‘T’ for top priority, ’M’ for medium priority, or ‘L’ for low priority. These designations refer to your evaluation of how likely they are to give. Start by contacting your top priority people first and then work through your medium and then your low priority people. You can see much success by handwriting a personal letter to present your needs. After each person has received your letter, call the potential ministry partner to ask him or her to join your team.

  1. Give your letter a specific date.
  2. Your greeting should be personalized. If you use a printed letter, hand-write the name instead of using ‘Dear friend.’
  3. Acknowledge your relationship with the reader. What can you say that will help the person identify with you? Refer to your last visit or letter, business concerns, sports interests, known struggles, hobbies, etc., to help him say, ‘I know who you are.’
  4. Bring your reader up-to-date on what you’re doing.
  5. Educate your reader. Share how you became involved in Wycliffe Associates and how the Lord has given you a desire to reach people for Christ through Bible translation. Explain how you hope the Lord will use you in your future ministry.
  6. Explain your need. The purpose of your letter is to give your reader an opportunity to help. Make sure you explain exactly what you need.
  7. Involve your reader by asking him for specific action, based on the needs you have shared. For example, if you are going on a short term trip with Wycliffe Associates, this can include challenging that person to help cover part or all of the costs of your trip, which includes training, materials, lodging, meals, and transportation. State the deadline by which you need the money.
  8. Acknowledge your relationship again with an emphasis on thanks, appreciation, gratitude, partnership, and commitment. This ties your opening acknowledgment to your request.
  9. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped-return envelope.

Things to avoid when writing support letters:

  1. Never apologize for writing or calling a person whom you wish to involve in helping you meet a need. You are providing people with an opportunity to be involved in a spiritual ministry through their resources.
  2. Never ask for a general amount or without a time frame in which to take action. You should challenge people to give a specific gift, or at least give them a specific range. The specific challenge of $100, $200, $300, or more is the exact amounts you will want to ask. Never ask for less than this challenge. If people want to support you, but cannot give $100, they will let you know and will not be offended by your request.

Call

The degree of your success in the letter-writing strategy depends on your follow-up phone calls. The follow-up phone call is critical for three reasons:  

  1. Most people suffer from information overload. Consequently, mail is easy to ignore or forget.
  2. Your time frame. You may have a lot of money to raise in what seems like a short period of time. A follow-up phone call will help you get decisions as quickly as possible. The best suggestion is to call one week after you’ve dropped the letter in the mail.
  3. Courtesy to your ministry partners. Many people will want to help you but won’t unless you call to answer their questions and to get their decision. Your phone call takes the burden of response off them and puts it on you.

The Follow-Up Phone Conversation:

  1. Be sure to establish a specific time in the letter to get their decision. When you ask for a response, do so directly. Then remain quiet until the person responds, even though this may feel uncomfortable. Talking more at this point will distract the person from making a decision.
  2. If the potential ministry partner has not made a decision when you have called, set another time to call within a day or two.

How to Get Additional Contacts:

  1. You can continue to add names to your list of potential ministry partners. Ask everyone you contact to give you names and telephone numbers of friends and people they know who you can contact also about the ministry of Wycliffe Associates.
  2. Who to ask for additional contacts: Ask everyone you contact. Both those who join your support team and those who are unable will want to help you complete your team.
  3. When to ask for additional contacts: Don’t ask anyone for contacts until they have first made a decision about supporting you. If you don’t wait, your request for referrals will distract them from making their decision. But do ask everyone at the time they give you their decision, whether their decision is yes or no. If you get a decision on the phone, you will ask for contacts right then over the phone. If you get a decision while on an appointment, ask for contacts right then in person.
  4. How to ask for additional contacts:
    1. Get your pen out and be ready to write.
    2. Say, ‘Mrs. ______, what are the names of your friends who may want to hear about Wycliffe and the work we are doing in Bible translation? '
    3. Assure the individual that his friends may not be able to help financially, but they may know others, and they will hopefully be encouraged to hear about your mission project. This gives the individual more freedom to refer you to others.

Thanks

Send a thank-you note the same day the ministry partner gives you his decision. Be sure to keep a record of this so you’ll know to whom you’ve sent one and so you’ll not send two to the same person. This thank-you letter is an important part of developing a relationship with your ministry partner. This should be a personal, handwritten note or letter. Do not print or copy a form letter or send an e-mail. Always include something personal in your note to show specifically how you and Christ’s cause in Bible translation have been benefited by their generosity. 

Used with permission from Campus Crusade for ChristOverview of Partnership Development (PD) Strategies

 


Principles for Generating Contacts

Begin with a positive statement

Make a clear declaration of what you want the person(s) you're speaking with to do for you.  Begin by clearly stating what you want.  

Have an expectant attitude

Look like you mean business by having a pen and pad out. Then as you speak, write across the top of your pad:  Names, #1-10, and Phone Numbers.

Don't use "interested"

To help prevent individuals from making their friends' decisions for them, do not use the phrase "who are interested in my ministry.”  Begin by pointing out the fact that most people are already interested in Bible translation because they have read the Bible in their own language.

Use action-oriented words

Operationalize the buzz words you have grown accustomed to with descriptive words that tell what the end results of your work are. For instance, instead of using the vague nouns "work” or "ministry,” use the more action-oriented words like "translating,” “maintaining,” “constructing,” or “repairing.”

Don't ask people to qualify another's ability to give

Realize that no matter what you say, when you broach the topic of referrals, you raise in the mind of the hearer this qualifying question: "Do I know anyone who has enough money to help Tom and Sarah Staffer out?”  Deal with this fact by communicating that you plan to talk with individuals regardless of their ability to give. In fact, it will turn out that many of those they would have prematurely disqualified can give and will give if you can help the referrer avoid making up their friends' minds for them.

Emphasize those who care because they will share

Then, whether suggesting categories or getting an individual to look through a directory or a pre-compiled list, preface what you say with a description of the kind of person you want to meet.  Emphasize that you want to meet individuals "who share our mutual concern for those who don't know Christ.”

Use words that put people at ease

Don’t ask for contacts, referrals, or leads.  Use words like “your friends”.  This focuses on the concerns of those in their circles of friendship.

Offer solutions to problems about giving referrals

Suggest categories of people or read through a directory of a pre-compiled list with them.

Use warm words

  1. Ask the person you are talking with to help you by introducing you to their friends (or those in their target audience) who care about Bible Translation.
  2. If you work in the office, realize the legitimate emotional appeal your work has. People care very deeply about getting the Bible into the hands of everyone they can. Let people know that your work is touching the lives of people across the world, even as indirect as it may be.
  3. Whatever your target audience, your goal should be to use words that cause them to identify with your work. For instance, they will identify far more with the human warmth inherent in the idea of "reaching the people of Cameroon, who suffer the same heartache of broken relationships and faded dreams that many Americans have.” 
  4. Phrases that picture the humanness (as opposed to the conceptual strategy) of your ministry will motivate people more than conceptual buzz words like "Every verse, every tongue, every heart."

Ask "who" and "what" questions

Ask your questions with words that imply you are expecting the answer to come back to you in the form of names; “What are the names of some of your friends who would share our mutual concern for getting the Bible into the hands of everyone around the world?” or “Who in your circle of friends would share our concern about helping people read the Bible in their language of origin?

Get names first and phone numbers later

If a person responds positively to your request for referrals, get his or her friends' names first, and worry about getting phone numbers later. Later you can scan through their directories with them to get the phone numbers and possibly other names.

Work through one category at a time

If you are suggesting categories for a person to mull over, do not suggest more than one at a time.

Involve people in the process

After compiling a list of names through the process of suggesting categories, by scanning a directory, or qualifying a pre-compiled list, qualify them by asking, "If you were in my shoes, raising financial support so you could serve full-time with Wycliffe Associates, who, on this list, would you talk with first?”

Involve the one referring in the process of contacting their friends. The worst case is when they say, "Don't use my name.” Here, in ascending order of preference, are the ways you might ask the referrer to be involved:

  1. Allowing you to use their name.
  2. Signing a note of introduction you draft on their behalf for you to send.
  3. Writing a note of introduction for you that they themselves write or draft.
  4. Calling his or her friends to set up an appointment for you.
  5. The best level of involvement: both setting up an appointment for you and accompanying you on the visit.  In most cases, try to at least get permission to use the name of the individual referring you to someone. As the opportunity presents itself, attempt to increase their involvement.

Utilize directories properly

One of the most effective ways to build up a list of prospective ministry partners is to go through church, club, or community directories with people. Leafing through a list of names with a person jogs their memory and is one of the best ways to quickly build a list of dozens of names.

Use pre-compiled lists to get referrals

  1. Another effective strategy for getting referrals is to compile lists of names within affinity groups (doctors, lawyers, morticians, etc.—just about any group you can think of) and then ask individuals to qualify them. Therefore, you can be more direct than would be the case where you were trying to get an individual to think of individuals’ names.
  2. Another source would be the Yellow Pages. Have the partner look over the Yellow Pages for a list of people in their area, such as associated with their profession, and have the ministry partner go through the list with you.
  3. You can also visit your local Chamber of Commerce or library. Each has published directories of businesses and professional associations.
  4. List the name of businesses in your hometown. One business person on your team can help qualify the list of other business persons in your town.

Prepare, Practice, Pray

In addition to being careful in your choice of the actual words to use, you will need to do three things before you can effectively ask for referrals:

  1. Prepare: Prepare by writing in order to be heard, not to be read. As you prepare, that means you will need to use contractions like "I’m” instead of "I am.”
  2. Practice:  Then when you practice what you have written, tape-record yourself to see if you sound confident and conversational. A well-written script is less than half the battle. To use the scripts well, you need to learn how to be graciously in control of the conversation. Prepare a script written to be heard; and practice diligently so that you sound natural, gracious, yet firmly in control. You won’t need to be focusing on what you'll say next, and you will be better able to deliver your lines in a natural manner.
  3. Pray:  Finally, pray because we know that it is God who will prepare the hearts of the hearers. It is God who will also use what you have practiced and presented to potential donors so that He will get the glory.

Carefully developed words and phrases, if used skillfully at the end of a support-raising appointment, can help you expand your list of support contacts—dramatically. Don't depend on the gift of winging it; you must prepare and practice and pray before you present.

Ask for referrals on each appointment, even if you don't get a decision

One last word of perspective: You will not necessarily use each of the tactics illustrated above during each appointment. Just use what seems most appropriate, given the situations you face.  Not everyone will be able to make a decision during an appointment, but it is best to ask for referrals while you are meeting with the person face-to-face.

Generating Contacts through a Key Person

The key man or woman is usually a successful businessman or businesswoman in the community whom you ask to act on your behalf in raising your support. This may be an older Christian man or woman who has retired. 

Benefits of Using a Key Person

  1. You can multiply your time more effectively by having your key person arrange contacts and eliminate any conflicts before you arrive in an area.
  2. Because the key person is in the business community, he'll be able to open doors and secure appointments where you might not be able to.
  3. Relying on the local key person also decreases your cost of support development as she makes the phone calls and also handles activities on a local basis rather than you having to handle them long distance.
  4. As you train this key person, you can pour your life into him and then ask him to select someone else he could bring along to assist him, thereby giving you two key people in an area.
  5. The greatest benefit for the key person is her spiritual growth. As she prays with you, plans with you, and works with you, she'll find her faith increasing and her relationship with Christ strengthened. She'll soon realize what a direct role she has in reaching people for Christ as a result of helping you develop support for your ministry.

Find Your Key Person

  1. Ask yourself, "Whom do I know who is interested in my ministry and would help me develop my support if asked?"
  2. Go over a list of doctors and other professional people who have known you in the past and who may be interested in giving some of their time to help you.
  3. Be receptive to someone whom God might impress on your mind who would want to give of his time and talent to have a significant part in your ministry.

Brief Your Key Person Thoroughly

  1. About the ministry of Wycliffe Associates.
  2. About your personal testimony.
  3. About your purpose and ministry.

Specify Ways You Might Want Your Key Person to Help

  1. Support you financially.
  2. Pray for you daily.
  3. Give you referrals.
  4. Write a letter of introduction.
  5. Call for appointments.
  6. Go with you on appointments.
  7. Set up group meetings.
  8. Host a coffee or tea meeting for you.
  9. Follow up with some of your contacts during the year.

How to Make Hundreds of Friends

God ultimately provides our financial support, but He often chooses to do that through other people. In order to get to those who will finally say “yes” and become your team of ministry partners, you will also be contacting a number of people who will say “no” to your request for support.

How many people do you need to contact

  1. Take the names of the potential ministry partners you have come up with on your own by using the Namestorming Strategy.
  2. Call the list to set up appointments.
  3. From your list, about 10 people would probably join your team of ministry partners at an average amount of $25 per month, for a total of $250 per month. In addition, you would probably gain 90 new referrals.
  4. Start the process over again.
  5. You will need to branch out beyond your immediate circle of relatives, friends, and acquaintances to reach referrals. The key to success in branching out, though, is to not think of those you want to branch out to as “referrals.” Rather, think of them as the relatives, friends, and acquaintances of others. Try to purge the word “referral” from your vocabulary. Instead, use the word “friends,” and make it your goal to get others to introduce you to those whom they are the closest to.  Remember, fund-raising is really friend-raising.

Two Dimensions to the “Friend-Raising” Challenge

Your ability to get people to introduce you to their friends is contingent upon two dimensions:

  1. Your “attitude” – what you believe in the biblical sense and your emotional predisposition. If you believe it is biblical to expand your list of contacts (friends) and if you are emotionally prepared for the challenge.
  2. Your “support development tactics” – if you have thought through a sound strategy for doing the job.

Remember to Ask

  1. Remember to ask for contacts.  Ask for contacts at the time you make your request for support.  You will be putting all that energy you just expended explaining your mission goal to more than one purpose.

Tactical “Friend-Raising” Steps

Here are three helpful steps for getting additional contact names:

  1. When you ask your potential donor for a contribution, also ask for names of others who might have an interest in supporting your efforts. Have a pen and paper at hand ready to write. If your contact is having difficulty coming up with names, start suggesting categories, scanning directories, or use a qualifying precompiled list of names. 
  2. Ask your contacts who they would call first if they were raising support for themselves or for a worthy project.
  3. Involve the individual who has given you names in the process of contacting those people (i.e. from setting up and accompanying you on an appointment to simply letting you use their name in a phone call or letter.)

 Used with Permission from Campus Crusade for Christ

 


The Referral Ask

This strategy involves visiting current ministry partners and asking them for referrals. When you get back to your assignment, you can use the letter/phone call strategy with the new contacts.  But the referral ask is very different than most staff members use. The letter/phone call section of the strategy also has a few new wrinkles.

The Importance of Contacts

If you need to raise $500 of monthly support, what you really need is 100 contacts. This is because the average new partner gives $50 a month. So you need 10 new partners to get $500 in new monthly support. If 1 out of every 10 people that you contact supports you, then you will need 100 contacts to get 10 new partners. The thought of getting 100 new contacts is overwhelming to most staff members. But with this system, it's not that difficult to do.

  1. The Referral Trip
    1. Schedule appointments with your current ministry partners to tell them about some things that are happening in the ministry and to ask them for referrals.  When setting up the appointment on the phone say, "I would love to get together with you and tell you about some things that are happening in the ministry and I want to run an idea by you."
    2. You can take a trip for the sole purpose of gathering referrals.  You can met with 10-20 partners over a week-long trip or you can meet with 5 or 6 partners over a weekend.  
    3. Remember our ministry partners want to help us, and they want to help us more than we want to ask for their help.
  2. The Appointment
    1. Stories
      1. Stories - Share a few stories about what God is doing in the ministry.  
    2. A Different Ask--Referrals!
      1. "Bob & Jan, if you were joining the staff of Wycliffe Associates or any other mission organization in which you needed to raise your own financial support, who would you ask for support?" This is a very effective ask because it is an easy question for the ministry partner to answer.
    3. Namestorming Sheet
      1. After the individual has finished naming names, then you can say this: "Bob and Jan, of course most people find it difficult to think of names off the top of their head." Many people find it helpful to look at a sheet like this (you then hand them a condensed Namestorming List), which helps to jog their memory.
      2. It is preferable for each staff member to create his or her own Namestorming List because you are the expert in knowing which groups of people are prevalent in each of your support bases. Be sure that your list has plenty of white space. It is recommended that you double space between different categories of people on the list.
      3. Talk through each category with your partner by asking questions.
        1. Would you ask your parents to be on your support team?
        2. Would you ask your brothers or sisters to be on your support team?
        3. Would you ask your employer or former employers to be on your support team?  
        4. Would you ask your customers to be on  your support team?
      4. This step of walking through the Namestorming List is what enables people to get 15-20 referrals per appointment. Remember, your ministry partners want to help you more than you want to ask for their help. 
    4. Letter of Recommendation
      1. Tell your ministry partner that you will be contacting these people through a letter and then following up the letter with a phone call. (Show them a copy of the letter that you will send to these people). 
      2. Tell your ministry partner that it is much more effective if a four or five paragraph letter of recommendation from them is included with your letter. Ask if it is agreeable to them for you to insert a short letter of recommendation from them to accompany your letter. Have a letter of recommendation with you and ask if the one that you have already written is okay. 
      3. As for the multiple signatures required on each of the letters that go to different people, there are two different ways to approach this issue. The first method is to have them sign the original letter at the appointment and then scan their signature onto each of the letters of recommendation that go to different people. Or you can ask permission to sign the many letters for them. You would sign their name in this scenario.
    5. Photo with Ministry Partners
      1. Take a photo of you and your ministry partner and include this photo with your support letter and the letter of recommendation. Do not scan the photo into the letter. You want the photo to be a third separate piece.
      2. After the appointment bring home your names (hopefully you'll have between 100-200 names) and do a letter/phone call strategy. 
      3. The envelope that you send these new contacts will include three pieces.
        1. Your support-raising letter.
        2. A letter of recommendation from your ministry partner.
        3. A photo of you with your ministry partner.

Chuck Schwaninger also has some other great ideas that make getting referrals easier. These can be heard on the audiotape Zero to Millions by Chuck Schwaninger.

Used with permission from Campus Crusade for Christ       

          


Writing Prayer Letters

As a new associate, it is very important that you begin to send out prayer letters within the first two weeks after your initial training and orientation.  These letters are vehicles to help you build relationships with your new ministry partners.  Here are some things about which you can write.

What you can (and should) write about

Write about what's happening at your assignment, about what God is teaching you and write a seasonal letter talking about a timely project.

What not to write about       

Do not write about support raising.  No matter how much God is teaching you about trusting him as you struggle through a difficult time in PD, your financial need is not the sort of thing to share. Your partners need to hear how grateful you are for what they are doing and not anything about what they are not doing.

 

 

 

 Used with permission from Campus Crusade for Christ

 


End-of-the-Year Ask

As the end of the year approaches, many of you will soon be writing your End-of-the-Year Ask letters. Over the years, many missionaries have seen God provide in significant ways through this ask.  Almost every time we make an appeal for funds there are a few surprises. Only God knows how people will respond. Our responsibility is to do the best job we can in presenting the vision when we ask.  Here are some thoughts to encourage you in your End-of-the-Year Ask:

  1. Your ministry partners care very deeply about you and the issue that we are committed to: the translation of the Bible. Because they believe in you and the value you add to the ministry, they will do their best to continue to give and possibly give extra in the tough economic times.
  2. In the weeks before and after you mail your letter, try to contact all of your partners for the purpose of asking how they are doing—not about giving a gift. Ask how you can pray for them. Sending an email or leaving a voicemail is okay if you have no response from your call.

Sample End-of-the-Year Ask Letters

  1. A sample End-of-the-Year Ask Letter can be found in Tools and Resources Catalog under Prayer Letters (look for the link for sample prayer letter content).  Share how the economy has affected your support, acknowledge that the partners may also have been affected by the economy, and then ask if they would be able to increase their giving. It could easily be adapted for the End of-the-Year Ask or a Special Gift Ask.
  2. Your partners understand that you have financial needs and will give as they are able. Be sure to tell your partners you are praying for them, and ask them to send you their prayer requests.

Pray for Your Partners

  1. Ask God to meet their needs. Pray that they will keep their eyes fixed upon Him and hold fast to Him who is our security, no matter what is going on in the world. 
  2. After you have prayed for your partners, you can send them a postcard telling them that you prayed for them.  We never want to take our partners for granted. It is through our monthly prayer letters, occasional notes, gifts, and phone calls that we communicate how God is using them through our ministry to bring the gospel to unreached people groups and how grateful we are to the Lord for them.
  3. An Ask Letter, such as the End-of -the-Year Ask, is only appropriate when we have communicated faithfully with our partners throughout the year.

Timeline for Writing Your End-of-the-Year Ask

Below is an 8-step checklist to help you slide your letters into the mailbox by November 27th.

  1. November
    1. Pray for God’s guidance and re-dedicate your ministry to Him. Pray for your supporters and their needs.
  2. 1st week of November
    1. Write the Ask Letter, create the response card, and ask a friend to proofread both items. Don't forget to mention that ministry partners can give online.
    2. Buy paper, envelopes, and Christmas stamps.
  3. 3rd week of November
    1. Print the letter and response cards.
    2. Hand-write your signature and address the envelopes.
    3. Stamp the envelopes and stuff each with a letter, response card, and a return envelope.
  4. Thanksgiving
    1. Give thanks for your ministry partners.
  5. Friday after Thanksgiving
    1. Mail the letters.
  6. December
    1. Pray for your supporters and for God to bring in the extra support you need.
    2. Write a thank you note within 24-48 hours after you receive notification of a gift received through the WA Finance Department.
  7. 1st Week of December
    1. Address and send your Christmas cards.

 Used with permission from Campus Crusade for Christ

 


Monthly Increase Strategy

Many missionaries have raised significant amounts in monthly support by using an increase strategy. Remember that people want to help you. Your ministry partners might not know that you need $1,500 in new monthly support, and if they did, they might want to help. Remember, these people love you. To many, you are a part of their family.  This strategy will help you to build these relationships even more as you interact with your current partners. Commit this process to the Lord, and ask Him to bring in a certain amount in monthly support. Believe that He is able to do it!  So how do you go about this? When is it appropriate to ask your partners to increase their giving? And what’s involved in the process?  This strategy consists of four steps:

Segment Your List of Ministry Partners

Your first step is to segment your list of ministry partners, which means dividing your list up so you know what the next step is for each partner.

  1. List the name of every partner you have, whether they give monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.  Regardless of your method, if you use TntMPD (a donations tracking system on the training website), you should be able to determine when your partners last increased their giving.  Next, determine whom you will ask to increase.
  2. We recommend that you ask your ministry partners every two years to increase their giving level. For a new partner, wait at least one year before you ask him or her to increase.
  3. Do not specify an amount; let your partner decide. Note that for those who give annually, the next step may involve asking them for a larger annual gift on the anniversary of their gift. For those who are giving only from time to time, the next step might be to ask them to consider giving through electronic transfer.

Write Each Partner a Letter

The second step involves writing letters.

  1. The letters should contain one good story that captures the vision of your ministry. The story should be about the changed life of a specific person. When you transition to "the ask," say that in order to continue effectively reaching people like so-and-so, you need to raise X dollars in monthly support. Tell the total amount of support that you're trying to raise, and mention a specific reason for the need, if you have one. 
  2. Challenge each person to a specific amount. Research shows that you will see more success when you do that, rather than leaving it open to them (with the exception of large donors). Tell them that you will call within a few days. Giving them a few days motivates them to make a decision now, because they know you will be calling soon.

Call for a Decision

This is the most important step of all.

  1. You MUST follow through with phone calls whenever possible in order to see maximum results. You can increase your response rate from two to ten times by calling your partners.
  2. Be sure to send your letters out in reasonable batch sizes so that you can call each partner within the time frame that you promised. Be sure to leave a message if you get an answering machine. Ask them by how much they will be able to increase.

Send a Thank-You Note

  1. As soon as a ministry partner commits to an increase, send a handwritten thank-you note.
  2. Even if they do not increase their giving, send a note to thank them for their continued commitment to your ministry.

 Used with permission from Campus Crusade for Christ

 


Small Dinner Strategy

The Strategy: Its Potential and Benefits

The small dinner strategy is an approach to raising support in which current ministry partners host small dinners for you in their homes. They invite two to four couples or an equivalent number of singles to come and hear about your ministry. The invited guests know that you will be presenting your ministry and asking for support.

  1. A proven track record. Whether you are a senior staff member, a mid-career staff member, or a new staff member just out of college, you will find that this strategy will work for you.
  2. The potential of the small dinner approach for growth is multiplied. The small dinner begins when the host invites his close Christian friends.  It is best if the ministry partner whom you are asking calls the referral, writes a letter of introduction, or even goes on the appointment with you.
  3. An intimate atmosphere.  The small dinner strategy creates an intimate atmosphere, which the banquet cannot do.  Because it is a dinner with a group of friends, the atmosphere is an intimate one.
  4. An atmosphere for building relationships. The small dinner creates an intimate atmosphere for building relationships.  When a person invites a close friend over for dinner and that friend accepts the invitation, he will show up at the dinner as opposed to having invited them over for dessert.
  5. Fun, relaxed, and low-pressure. The small dinner is a low-pressure, enjoyable way of asking people to join your team because your hosts have prequalified the guests.
  6. Teamwork. This is a strategy that effectively utilizes the host husband and wife, who will complement each other at the dinner and the woman, who is more empathetic, will encourage friendly conversation.
  7. Deeper relationships with your host couples. As your ministry partners host a dinner, their commitment to you and your ministry is likely to increase. Through the process of setting up the dinner, you will have increased contact with them. Hosting the dinner, giving a testimonial about why they support you, praying with you, and listening to you present your ministry at the dinner will draw you together into a deeper relationship.
  8. Results. Most staff members will see results from the small dinner.
  9. Raising support is a time-consuming process. For a moment, think about how many support appointments you are able to have in a week. What if you were able to double that number of contacts? You can by using the small dinner strategy.
  10. An effective use of time. The evenings are great times for meeting both the husband and wife, but few staff members can schedule more than one appointment per night.  The one-on-one appointment will continue to be one of your primary strategies for raising support, but you can significantly increase your effectiveness by adding the small dinner strategy.  By setting up several small dinners in advance, you will meet more people in one week than you would if you used one-on-one appointments only. 

Steps to Success

  1. Pray.  Bathe your support needs in prayer. Pray that the dinners will be successful, that you will have joy in doing them, and that God will walk before you, preparing hosts to hold the dinners and their friends to attend. Pray that most of those who attend will support you.
  2. Prepare.  Develop your overall PD plan. The small dinner strategy is only one method you may use in the context of an entire plan consisting of one-on-one challenges, letters/telephone strategy, etc.
    1. List the ministry partners on your team who could host a dinner. It has been found that a minimum of one out of every three people asked to host a dinner will do it.
    2. From your list of partners, select those with the greatest potential and commitment to you personally.
    3. Develop a timetable for each dinner. You will need to have commitments from your potential hosts one month before the dinners.
    4. There are two ways to ask potential hosts to hold a dinner for you. The first is to call and challenge them over the phone. The second is to ask them through a letter and then follow up with a phone call. See sample script and letter in Tools and Resources Catalog under "Scripts" and "Letters".
    5. The Small Dinner Host Brochures. Your prospective host family may feel uneasy about hosting a small dinner. If this is the case, when they have agreed to host a dinner, send them the Small Dinner Host Brochure in Tools and Resource Catalog under "Brochures". This brochure shows them how to invite their friends.
  3. Suggestions for Dinner Hosts.  Thanks for the extra help you are giving to us by inviting your friends to dinner to learn about our ministry.
    1. Invite two to four couples or an equivalent number of singles to attend. They should be close Christian friends.
    2. A weeknight might be best for your friends’ schedules. The dinner would begin around 6:30 or 7:00 and should end by 9:30.
    3. Phone your friends to invite them just as you normally would for a dinner.
    4. We could help prepare the dinner to save you time.
    5. We would like to adjourn to your family room or living room right after the main course to give our presentation. After the presentation, we would go back to the dining room for coffee and dessert. 
  4. Prepare your presentation. The presentation should be no longer than 30 minutes. For couples, both husband and wife should have a part. The presentation can be broken down into the following parts:
    1. Cast a vision for the need for your ministry.  Before you share your testimony and your calling, you will need to explain the need for your ministry.  Begin your presentation by describing the "problem" your ministry is solving.
    2. Share your testimony and call to the ministry. You might use the following as a transition from casting a vision for the need for your ministry to your testimony and calling:  "And this is the reason that we have committed our lives to Christian service and have joined Wycliffe Associates.  People all around the world are waiting to receive a Bible in their language and through that Bible, to know Jesus Christ.  Let me begin by telling you how I came to know the Lord..."
    3. Use the PD Presentation Album or PD PowerPoint to help you cast vision. If you are new to the work and ministry of Wycliffe Associates, the album and PowerPoint will help you guide your presentation so that you can communicate your vision and calling clearly and concisely.  
    4. You might also consider using the Wycliffe Associates video for supported staff to supplement your PD presentation.  Using a video in the first portion of the PD Album or PowerPoint presentation makes it possible for the viewers to envision the need for Bible translation more clearly. 
    5. Share stories. Use descriptive word pictures as you tell your stories, so your audience will be able to visualize the people and place.  Here you would describe the position you will be filling and why it is important to the ministry.
    6. Ask for support. You may find the following script helpful:  “The biggest challenge we face is asking others to share in our support.  Like many other mission organizations, Wycliffe Associates staff members depend upon the consistent financial support of concerned individuals to carry on their ministries. Contributions from individuals and churches are the only source of income to support our ministry. Wycliffe Associates has no central funds for paying salaries. Would you become part of the team by supporting us monthly at $75, $100, $150, or some other amount?  I would like to give you a call within a few days to see if God has laid it upon your hearts to become a part of our financial support team."  
    7. Open up for questions and answers. After you ask for support, take the time for about five minutes of Q & A.
  5. Call back for their decision. Call within two or three days to thank them for attending the dinner and getting to know them, and asking if they have been able to make a decision about supporting your ministry.  
    1. For a “yes” response thank them for their decision to support you and tell them they can make their check payable to Wycliffe Associates or go online.
    2. For a “no” response, you will need to discern what kind of “no” it is. Often it is not a “no” to supporting you but a "no" to doing it now.
    3. Lastly, for a “we haven’t decided yet” ask if you could call tomorrow if that would give them enough time to make a decision.
  6. Thank those who make a decision to support you. You should send these new supporters a handwritten note thanking them for their decision and recapping the amount and frequency of their support (monthly, quarterly, annually).
  7. If they do decide to give, include in your note the fact that they can make their check payable to "Wycliffe Associates". 

Overview of the Dinner

  1. No children at the dinner. It would be best to have the childcare in a home other than that of your host.  If bringing the children to the hosts' home is the only option, make sure that the childcare arrangement is in a room where the children will not be heard to distract the parents.
  2. Before the guests arrive, you and the hosts can enjoy a relational time. Suggest to your hosts that they briefly introduce you when the guests arrive and again when you give your presentation. 
  3. As the guests arrive, your hosts should introduce you.  
  4. During the social time before and during dinner, you may be asked questions about your ministry. To certain questions, don't hesitate to say that you will answer after the dinner when you can more fully explain your ministry to everyone.  
  5. Before your presentation, your host should reintroduce you.This introduction will be more of an endorsement of how your hosts know and support your ministry.
  6. After the presentation, invite everyone to go back to the family room for coffee and dessert.
  7. Debrief with your host couple after everyone has gone home. Thank them again. Be sure to get everyone's address and home and work phone numbers from your host for your callbacks.

 Used with permission from Campus Crusade for Christ