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.


 

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...

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...