Grow Your Ministry With These Blogs

If you want to improve performance of your ministry in fundraising, increase ministry growth toward a big vision or lead your organization with confidence, these articles can accelerate your journey.  Advocace consultants, researchers and editors post counsel, advice and direction to help Christian ministries grow.  See for yourself by clicking on these articles--a part of Advocace's commitment to pro bono encouragement and education of Christian ministry leaders.


 

How to Use the 2019 Calendar to Your Advantage

It’s done. Thanksgiving is a distant memory. Christmas wrapping paper and bows have been put away. The New Year quietly came and went. Your new calendar is a blank slate—and that could be a very good thing! The New Year brings new opportunities for making a good impression on your donors. Now is the time to break out that fresh new calendar and start marking it up! Here’s some quick suggestions on how to put very important and timely donor communications on your calendar. Mark Your 2019 Calendar Use different colored pens/pencils (or electronic highlighters if you’re not into pen and paper)... Read more...

Can I help you set important goals for 2019?

“A goal without a plan, is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery  “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it.” Abraham Lincoln We all know how important it is to plan. Yet, often we fail to act and therefore do not bear the fruit of a life lived on purpose. It’s a new year. Today is the day to start asking yourself questions that will lead you to live the life you were born to live. Will you set aside time to reflect on key areas of your life and write down at least two goals in each area? I know you will not regret... Read more...

4 New and Exciting Event Ideas for Your Nonprofit

Are you a planner? Do people know you are so detailed, events have been planned for the next several years? I am with you, my friend. I love Gantt charts, checklists, and diagrams. The problem is that we may be boring our donors with the same events or methods for fundraising at our nonprofit. Great events are usually well planned and planned in advance. Being creative with the events can be your challenge. 4 New Events Ideas for Your Nonprofit Here are 4 ideas for planning and creating new and exciting events for your donors. Ask major donors to be part of the event planning team... Read more...

How to Get Ready for the New Things in 2019

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” -Isaiah 43:19 My son, Ezra, is 16 months old. So, this past year included a lot of “new things”. He crawled for the first time. Took his first steps. We celebrated his first birthday in August. He went to daycare and got sick for the first time. He’s also gotten lots of new teeth. I’ve noticed something about the big developments in Ezra’s life. Before each one he doesn’t sleep very well for a few days, he’s a little crankier than normal, and sometimes... Read more...

Do donors want to give more when you listen?

"The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people."  — Woodrow Wilson Major gift fundraising is more about listening than talking. You’ve seen it and know it's true. The fundraiser who talks too much tends to fail. At times it is hard to draw a line between expressing our passion and including people into our vision. We tend to talk more, where we feel in control and comfortable. But we soon find that we’ve left everyone behind—including the major donor we want to understand our vision. We become so passionate about our cause that we forget fundraising is about relationships—and... Read more...

6 Buying Signs to Look for from Your Underwriting Prospect

Very little can chill a prospective underwriting “buyer” more than continuing to sell long after they’ve made it clear they’re ready to buy. Typically, our weakness in identifying buying signs from the prospect stems from being more focused on telling them what we want them to hear, rather than observing how they respond to what we say or do. Here’s the solution. Determine before you even begin speaking that you care more about them than yourself. 6 Signals Your Prospect Is Ready to Buy Here are 6 signals an underwriting prospect is ready for a closing question: Change in Demeanor ... Read more...

5 Ways to Make Christmas More Meaningful for Your Donors

Watching a Christmas special on television, I got a little attitude. The program was cute, it had good acting, made me laugh a few times, but something really irked me. The writers had absolutely no clue about Christmas meaning or symbolisms. What bugged me even more was the blatant way the characters dismissed a church and choir from having any part to play in the impact of Christmas. You may have seen in recent Christian news that more people are proclaiming to be “unchurched”, non-church goers. And even less people are active Christ-followers. If you work with donors for any length of time... Read more...

How to Prepare for Capital Campaign Success

The key to your successful capital campaign is sitting in your boardroom. However, I cannot tell you if they’re ready. Sometimes I meet with ministry leaders that have forgotten the incredible opportunity the board has to impact their organization in tangible and profound ways. Many times, our boards get so focused on the day to day and other board duties. And we forget they were assembled to protect the mission and lead your organization to its fulfillment. Have you forgotten what a practical and influential role the board could play in helping your organization see its vision become a reality... Read more...

5 Helpful Donor Retention Ideas to Thank Your Donors

If you’re like most ministry executives, one of the greatest challenges you face is donor retention from one year to the next. You need to look no further than a few key statistics to see the problem many ministries face: A shockingly low 45% donor “retention” rate for all nonprofit organizations combined! (According to the Association for Fundraising Professionals) In a recent study of one ministry sector, Advocace found that the retention rate was 60%. In this same study, ministry executives ranked “retaining current donors” as the second highest fundraising challenge they face... Read more...

How do I unify and engage my board of directors?

Board of Directors. Just saying this name can induce all kinds of emotion, ranging from great discouragement to great inspiration. But, as a non-profit executive director, you have a great opportunity to set the tone and strike a balance that will allow you to productively collaborate with your board in the best interest of the ministry. Here is a list of things you can begin focusing on right now to help you change the tone of your board meetings... Read more...