Paul Virts (Advocace)'s Articles

Are You Fishing for Donors in the Right Spot with the Right Lures?

Every fisherman knows you can’t catch every kind of fish with the same kind of lure and in the same spot on a lake. He needs to decide what kind of fish he wants to catch and use the lures that work best for them. And he searches for the best “fishing hole.” Searching for donors to fund your ministry is no different. You need to identify those people you think are most likely to support your ministry. You need to assess what channels of communication they use most often. You n ...

6 of the Best Ways to Set and Reach Major Donor Goals

There are many keys that can bring success to your major donor program. One with the greatest opportunity for impact is setting goals for your major donor team. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you’re sure to hit it every time.” The corollary is that if you aim at a goal you have a good chance of hitting it. Common Major Donor Team Goals In one study of Christian ministry leaders, 64% said they have a major donor program. When we explored ...

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 o ...

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 ...

[VIDEO] What do I need to know before launching a capital campaign?

You and your Board may have concluded that your aging facilities are holding your ministry back from accomplishing your, what do you need to know to plan a capital campaign?

Want to know why your gift income has stopped growing?

One of the most frequently cited reasons for gift income plateaus or decreases in a broadcast ministry is that donors are bombarded with requests for gifts from many ministries. It’s easy to conclude that donors spread their gifts around and dilute their giving to any one organization. But, does research back up this reason? Data from two studies suggests, for most stations, that is not a major problem. In Advocace’s Listener-Supported Radio Development Outlook (LSRDO) 2017 st ...

How can you get your donors more excited about your station?—Part 2

How passionate are your donors about your radio ministry? Do they give every once in a while because they benefit from your programming, or do they really “buy into” your ministry more deeply? One way to gauge donors’ passion is by asking them what priority they place on giving to your ministry compared to other causes they support (other than their local church). In Finney Media’s recent nationwide survey of Christian radio listeners to all major programming formats ( ...

How can you get your donors more excited about your ministry?—Part 1

How passionate are your donors about your radio ministry? One way you can tell is by how frequently they give. Finney Media recently performed a nationwide study of Christian radio listeners to all major programming formats (Why Listen 2018). Most participants in this study were donors. In the graph below, you can see how frequently they say they give to the radio ministry that sent them the questionnaire.   Here are a few key findings: Monthly donors are the most passionate, f ...

Want to know where your major donors may be hiding?

Some of your donors who could give more to help you grow your ministry’s impact may be pulling a “King Saul”. Remember the story? After Samuel had anointed Saul King of Israel, he couldn’t be found when it came time for his public coronation (1 Samuel 9:9-10:22). The Lord revealed his whereabouts saying, “He has hidden himself among the baggage!” Pretty funny, especially when you consider the writer’s later comment, “As he [Saul] stood among th ...

Getting Your Donors’ Money Isn't God's First Priority

God’s first priority is getting your donors’ hearts—and their heads. That may sound strange to development staff members who feel the daily pressure of raising money for ministries.

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Dr. Paul Virts
Dr. Paul Virts
Senior Consultant

Find out how I help leaders grow their ministries as their trusted advisor. Read more about the way I work with clients by clicking here.

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