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.


 

7 Important Things Your Board Should NOT Delegate

[Previously posted on dickerson-bakker.com...] There are many things a board can do to make a bad situation worse. Here is one example: a few years ago, I was hired to work with a client who was chronically stuck in crisis-reactive mode. The agency’s CEO had been fired by the executive committee (prior to my arrival). Over half the board members who were not on the executive committee quit when they heard the CEO had been fired. The departing board members were angry they were not consulted on such an important decision. So, not only was the agency limping along without a CEO, it was also down... Read more...

3 Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Direct Mail

I get them in the mail monthly. You probably do, too. Direct mail pieces that do not “endear” the nonprofit to the reader. Here are the 3 mistakes that are hurting your direct mail: Using “Dear Friend”. Wow, this organization doesn’t even know who I am! Why would I want to give them my hard-earned cash if they cannot figure out who I am? Many times, the database needs to be cleaned up. I know it can take countless hours of work and expense to get the database corrected. If you cannot dedicate the manpower to separate the first and last names, you can put the donor’s whole name... Read more...

So, what is the Board’s role in a capital campaign?

[Previously posted on dickerson-bakker.com...] Perhaps you have also asked this question: “What’s the board’s role in a capital campaign?”  I am asked this question with every campaign launch and frequently throughout the campaign as well.  I believe there are five responsibilities of every board during a capital campaign: Pray—For boards of Christian organizations, this should be an obvious first step. However, prayer is often part of even secular organizations.  When it is not, board members can pray on their own for the success of the campaign.  Be sure to pray not only to reach the... Read more...

7 Habits That Will Take Your Major Gift Fundraising to the Next Level

[Previously posted on dickerson-bakker.com...] What’s it take to become masterful at major gift fundraising? Discipline yourself to build these seven habits into your work routine and you will raise major giving to a whole new level at your nonprofit organization. I love to golf. The relaxed camaraderie of being out on the course with friends and colleagues. The open air and natural scenery. The satisfaction that comes from making a great shot. The endless challenge to improve your game. My only problem is, I’m just not very good at it. I used to be decent, but now that I don’t play nearly... Read more...

How to Inspire Your Community to Join Your Capital Campaign

David captured the hearts of and inspired the entire nation of Israel to join a capital campaign to build the Temple in 1 Chronicles. Is your organization inspiring your community to join your capital campaign because they believe in what you're doing? Are you still inspired by what you're doing? Sometimes I wonder if we have gotten comfortable, or afraid, or maybe even worse, apathetic. We do things that we can attain, we shoot for goals that are too low. It seems we’ve forgotten how to be God-sized. God Inspired David's Capital Campaign I believe that David captured the heart of the people... Read more...

Are you on the path that leads to larger financial support?

There is a path that leads to long-lasting, deeply committed support from your major donors—and another path that leads to short term, infrequent financial gifts. The first path takes time, planning and commitment, but results in a pleasant experience, and a deepening relationship, for you and your donor. The second path is relatively short and usually makes both you and the donor a bit uncomfortable. The path that leads to larger financial support includes these critical elements: Research—before you ever pick up the phone to connect with your prospective, or active donor you should spend... Read more...

Is your heart really in your capital campaign?

A development officer asked me to have lunch with her. We had casually met at an event, where she found out what I did and wanted to get to know me. She was a delightful person who worked for a large nonprofit in my area. As we ate lunch and the conversation blossomed, I realized she was cultivating me for giving potential (an occupational hazard since I can spot out cultivation efforts easily). She began to describe a capital campaign the organization had started. This is the point in the conversation I was tuning in, mostly from curiosity. That’s when it went south. The development director... Read more...

Are You REALLY Ready to Receive a Million Dollar Gift for Your Capital Campaign?

If you’re like many Christian ministry leaders, you need major gifts to fund your vision and help meet the goals you’ve set for completing your capital campaign. A key question is: How likely is it that my ministry is “ready” to receive those major gifts? A study (“Mission Dollar Ready”, Johnson Grossnickle + Associates, Lily Family School of Philanthropy, 2013) conducted several years ago on educational institutions that have received gifts of $1 million or more provides useful insights, not only for educational institutions but for Christian ministries as well. The study revealed a number... Read more...

Do your Major Donors know the ROI of their gift?

When you invest your money, what are you looking forward to? What is motivating you to take the risk? Clearly, it’s not simply a fiscal duty or responsibility. Isn’t it the anticipation of how this investment will grow over time? The excitement of what kind of changed, or improved future the result of the investment will provide? Well, the same thing is true of the investments your major donors make to your ministry. Unfortunately, way too often we treat the financial gifts as if the donor is satisfied with just giving us the money. We act as if they don’t need any feedback or outcome-based... Read more...