7 Things I Am Learning About Support Raising During A Pandemic

What day is it of whatever this is? If you’re like me, you’ve lost count somewhere along the way. As our groundhog days have gone on I have been busy coaching workers who are on the front lines of raising their support, many for the first time. I’ve been carefully listening and dialing into what is working and what is not. Thus, I wanted to take a moment to share some tips I have learned from coaching numerous workers raising their support during the Coronavirus. Here we go:

  1. If you have not done a newsletter in awhile (or you did recently, just pre-Coronavirus), NOW is the time to do one. I’ve been hearing workers mention that the number one question they are getting from their supporters and potential supporters is “are you still going to do your ministry assignment?” Stave off any doubt your supporters have by sending out a short newsletter that shares the following:
    • Reassure them you are feeling your call to ministry now more than ever! Remind them there are amazing opportunities to minister as people are searching for meaning and faith right now, and you’re excited to get on the front lines.
    • Yes, you are still called! Yes, you are still going to the field / on staff / your assignment! Let them know you are working as you are able to minister during this time, continue to raise support, and pray.
    • Ask them if they have any specific prayer requests.
    • Write a hearty thank you for their continued giving during this season. Let them how grateful you are. It’s huge they are committed to giving.
    • Don’t be afraid to keep it short and to the point.
  2. Video conference appointments are working. I have been taking with many workers who are having great appointments with individuals and are adding to their support teams during this time, Thus, don’t think of it as a time to stand still and do nothing! Reach for Zoom appointments using a mixture of discernment, wisdom, common sense, and prayer. When you do ask for an appointment, follow the guidelines found in this post and develop your own scripts.
  3. I coach a couple who shared this idea I thought was brilliant: for local appointments, think about having “porch picnics” with those who are comfortable. Their instructions:
    •  Get a Signup Genius ready (www.signupgenius.com)
    • Send link to potential supporters after you have called and asked for a appointment (or those already on your team that you want to build relationship with and see) to schedule appointments
    • “Take them” to dinner/lunch/coffee. (go pick something up with washed and sanitized hands or use UberEats or GrubHub or DoorDash)
    • Hang on porch at a distance
  4. Staying spiritually healthy matters. I talked with a couple yesterday who mentioned they are praying together for a different church every day, and are viewing this time as an opportunity to dial into their prayer life separately and together as a couple. They feel blessed to have extra time to bulk up spiritually. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine that this couple won’t be lead into great opportunities as a result of their heart and prayer life. Go and do likewise.
  5. Facebook / Instagram Live Q&As can be a good way to stay active and are FUN! As we all know, there are a lot of people online right now. Why not utilize that opportunity by doing a Facebook Live Q&A or Instagram Live and talk about your upcoming assignment? The main content of a FB Live Q&A should be comprised of giveaways, trivia / info on your assignment, questions for the audience, and time to let them ask you questions. Make it simple and fun, and promote it however you can before hand.  This post outlines some details on the subject.  (*sensitive workers — this is doable for you too with some extra precautions and permissions!)
  6. Continue having ministry moments. Ask pastors if you can help serve their congregation (if you have technical skills they could probably really use you)! Ask friends and family members how they are doing, just because. If someone comes to mind take a moment and reach out. What you sow you will also reap, so continue to sow into your relationships.
  7. Having a good attitude and staying empathetic matters. Remember, your ministry doesn’t start when you get to your assignment – it starts now! And hey, I totally get it, of course this time is challenging! I SEE YOU. But here’s a wild thought: God knew about the pandemic and still chose YOU for this time. Knowing that, choose to be the inspiration of courage and hope to someone else, as chances are they need it. Chances are you will be inspired by being an inspiration. You will be blessed by being a blessing. Stick with a good attitude. Stay empathetic and serve those around you in everyday small ways. One worker I know realized she is getting a lot of joy from having flowers on her kitchen table and tending to her plant babies. She is now driving around to her existing partnership team (who are local) and putting small plants on their porches with a short note of encouragement. What a great idea!

Friends, I hope some of these tips help or get the wheels turning on ideas of your own. What has been working for you? Post it in the comments! – JF

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