Get the Right Perspective, Get to 100%

I try whenever possible to stay away from the words “fundraising” and “donor“when describing support raising as a ministry worker. Instead I use the phrases “partnership development” and “financial partner“.

Why you ask? The nuance lies within the overall perspective of raising one’s budget.

The word “donor” denotes someone who gives blood, gives one time, or is involved in a limited transaction. “Fundraising” denotes car washes, bake sales, golf tournaments, and transactional events. Right? Right. Of course fundraising and donors are in and of themselves not bad. OF COURSE. However, neither indicate an ongoing relationship between the giver and the organization or ministry. If our perspective of raising funds leads us to believe all we are doing is fundraising, it is likely we will struggle raising our support because what we are doing is truly more than fundraising. Simply put: we do more than fundraise. We invite people to partner with us in ministry.

Conversely, partnership is defined as this: “two separate but equal parties, with separate but equal responsibility, working together to achieve a common goal.” 

I like that definition much more as it encapsulates a what a healthy perspective while raising a budget looks like. It clarifies that the one sending is vital to the ministry instead of merely standing on the sidelines. The word partnership keeps us mindful that we are to be good stewards of our resources as Christians, and stewards of our calling to the Great Commission – whether that looks like going or sending. “Partnership” says WE ARE DOING THIS TOGETHER.

Experience has shown me that ministry workers who know the difference (in their hearts and attitude) between “fundraising” and “partnership” are those that succeed in raising their financial partnership teams. And FYI, success looks different than just getting to 100% and getting to the field fully funded. Again, think perspective — getting to 100% is only part of it.

Success in partnership development looks like fulfillment, retention in partnerships, healthy mindsets, healthy relationships, joy, actual enjoyment in the process, and getting to one’s field in ministry fully supported.

The opposite of success is strained relationships, procrastination, anxiety, 80% raised budgets being “good enough”, and low attrition in partnerships.

I believe that success in partnership development is 90% perspective.

“If our perspective of raising our funds leads us to believe all we are doing is fundraising, it is likely we will struggle raising our support because what we are doing is truly more than fundraisingSimply put: we do more than fundraise. We invite people to partner with us in ministry.” 

Those that are successful hold Paul’s perspective when he says “Not that I desire your gift, what I desire is that more be credited to your account.” Philipians 4:17 

Successful partnership development knows those that join your team are a vital and dynamic part of your ministry.  Partner relationships become important, growing, and vibrant instead of obligations and burdens.

I challenge you to take a look at your perspective in partnership development. Is it a fundraising perspective, or one of partnership? Why is it important to see it differently than fundraising? What’s the difference?

You may not immediately see the difference, but as you work to find out what a biblical perspective of financial partnership looks like, it’s likely you’ll find it much more enjoyable and doable. Perspective leads to attitude, which determines action. You will do what you believe. Try and shift to a healthy perspective on partnership development. Having a wrong perspective may hinder you staying in full-time ministry long term, and can lead to stress every time itineration season rolls around again. Let’s not do that. Let’s do successful partnership development that leads to vibrant 100% funded ministry and healthy engaged partnerships.  – JF

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The Merry Christmas Resource List

Quick post here of resources I find helpful in the support raising process. Merry Christmas everyone! – JF

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  1. Cadre31
  2. A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen
  3. Piktochart
  4. Sway
  5. Dunham & Company
  6. iMissionsProTNTMPDMPDXDonorElfSupportGoal
  7. Funding Your Ministry by Scott Morton
  8. The Phone Call Mind Map
  9. Commission Creative
  10. Chalkline
  11. Support Raising SolutionsThe God Ask
  12. Canva
  13. 101 Fundraising
  14. Portent’s Content Generator
  15. Wunderlist
  16. GiveWay
  17. MobileCause

Video: How to Launch a Successful Facebook Campaign

screen shot facebook campaign vid

I have been sharing for a couple of years now how effective a well-executed Facebook Campaign can be. The idea started from the Assemblies of God Mobilization department to utilize the power social media can have in expanding one’s network. And man we have seen the idea spread and grow over the years!

We (Assemblies of God Mobilization + myself) decided the older videos on the Facebook Campaign needed a bit of a face lift as we have learned a few things in the past two years. Thus, here’s a new video for you!

For those of you who don’t know what what a Facebook Campaign is, let me explain. In one sentence – essentially it is a campaign for monthly or cash support on Facebook set to a specific amount of time and a specific goal. Of course, you’ll grab the big picture by watching the video above.

To be clear, I am against asking for funds on Facebook or any other type of social media in most any other context (besides maybe a short video on Giving Tuesday or for a End of Year Campaign). I believe the absolute best way to ask for monthly financial partnership is via personal face-to-face appointments. I also do not believe the Facebook Campaign to be the end-all-be-all in support raising. However, I have seen it be very useful. Those whom I have coached who launch well executed Facebook Campaigns (after they have reached at least 75% of their support goal and built up healthy teams) have seen some pretty awesome success. Some workers I’ve coached have raised as much as $1,000 in monthly support. Others have raised $10,000 in cash from doing a Campaign. For most campaigns I see, a typical amount to raise is around $300-400 in monthly support or around $700-$1,000 in one time cash gifts.

If you are interested in launching your own Facebook campaign, follow the information on the video. To go along with the video, here are a few things I find important to emphasize:

1. It is VERY IMPORTANT while doing your FB campaign to stay abreast on all likes and comments that come to you campaigners pages. Check them every day and more than once a day. Return comments with Private Messages (PM) and likes with PM when it feels appropriate. It is your job to connect further with the people responding, and if they have commented or liked but haven’t given, chances are with a personal message from you they may.
2. Create great graphics and videos. No half-way doing this thing or results will be minimal. With a little work, the results will be fantastic.
3. Create a reasonable goal. (see video)
4. Follow up with your new financial partners after the Facebook campaign. Never let someone start giving to you without trying to get to know them. Attrition rates for someone giving to you on a monthly basis that you don’t know at all are statistically low – so beat that by building a relationship with your new financial partners. Do this by emailing them, calling them, Facebook messaging them. Whatever you do, ask them questions about themselves. Of course don’t overwhelm them – make them feel safe as they probably don’t know you well. Use common sense. Think about what would make you feel connected if you were in their shoes.
5. Think about creating a Facebook Secret group with your campaigners and some prayer partners in the group. In that group you can post your posts for the campaigners every day. There should be around 15-20 campaigners and perhaps somewhere around 10-15 prayer partners in this group. (Your prayer partners will probably catch a burden and start funding you monthly if they aren’t already on your team 🙂 Sometimes asking around on FB on your secret group or in your newsletter prior to see if anyone wants to be a part will help give you a few extra campaigners as well posting on your behalf. Make sure you make your campaigner team full of people with various levels and places of connection. See if you can get a few people of influence to be on your campaign team as well.
6. Go above and beyond in your communication with with your campaigners from the very beginning. Tell them your goal and how many days for the campaign, and communicate that you want them posting every day. ALSO VERY IMPORTANT to find out how they can best receive the post information from you. Some people post on Facebook from their phones – so a text may be better. Some people may do better with you giving them content in an email. Some may remember just fine by only getting it through your secret group. Find out what works best for them so they don’t miss a post. Make it easy for them!
7. Encourage your campaigners to change the wording of their posts if they want to to make it personal to them / their audience. Just give them guidelines and make sure they stick to security rules and use your graphic. You may want to feed them the wording for the first couple of days and then encourage them to create their own with the content you’d like posted.

I hope this video and post helps. As we come up into Giving Tuesday and End of the Year Giving, it may be a perfect time to launch your campaign (if your around 80% raised of course!). Go for it – I think you’ll find some success in creating your own! – JF

Help! I Don’t Speak Mailchimp!

If you find yourself daunted by beginning a email newsletter to your partnership team, you are not alone. I get numerous questions from workers wondering how to best set up snail mail and email newsletters.

One of the most popular services for electronic newsletters is Mailchimp. Mailchimp is a free online e-newsletter creator. Though Mailchimp is relatively easy to use, it does come with a learning curve even for more the more computer experienced of us out there. It uses language like “Campaigns” “Segments” and “Subscribers” that isn’t cut and dry for everyone. Thus, this post is a I-don’t-speak-Mailchimp step by step guide to sending your first e-newsletter. Keep in mind this post is for the beginners out there – I see you! Here we go friends.

Step 1: Get onto Mailchimp. If you haven’t already, create a username and password and login into Mailchimp.

Step 2: When you set up your account – click “Subscribe to Getting Started.” If you click this handy feature, Mailchimp will send you emails that will be helpful in creating future newsletters (in Mailchimp lingo these are called “Campaigns”).

Step 3: Build your List of people to send e-newsletters to.

A. Click “Lists”Mailchimp ListsB. After clicking on Lists, click “Create List”.mailchimp lists 2C. Fill in the List’s name, what email address you’ll be sending this from, your name, and other information needed.

D. Next, Mailchimp will pop up a screen that says “You have no contacts” and give you a choice to either “Import your subscribers” or “Create a signup form” to get started. Unless you have a blog you want to create a sign up form to get subscribers from – you will either want to import your contacts or click “Add contacts” (see screen shot below) and add them one by one manually.

Some people (like myself!) like to add them manually so there aren’t any glitches in the process of getting them from one program to another – but it does take time. So choose what works best for you. Mailchimp Lists 3** If you do choose to import your contact list typically you’d either do so by .csv files (this is good if you keep your contacts organized on your computer using a program such as “Contacts” for Macs or “Address Book” for PCs) or by copy and pasting from a file (for instance from Excel). Either way you may have some cleaning up of your files to do, so be patient! mailchimp lists 4E. When you are done importing or manually adding the subscribers to your List, you are ready to move onto Creating Your Campaign!

Step 4: Create Your Campaign! 

A. Start creating your campaign by clicking in the upper left hand corner “Campaign”.

B. If you have a new account, Mailchimp will take you to the screen below that says “What do you want to create?”. Choose “Create an Email”. (If you have an existing account click “Create Campaign” on the upper right corner of Mailchimp’s screen first, then the screen will ask “What do you want to create?” choose “Create an Email”.)

create campaign mailchimpcreate an email mailchimpC. Choose “Regular” for your email type. Choose a campaign name, then click “Next” at the bottom right of your screen.

D. Choose the List you are sending your Campaign to. This should be the List you just made in Step 3. Then, click “Next” on the bottom right of your screen.

E. Fill in your Campaign Info. Make sure when filling this out to chick “Personalize the To Field” so your subscribers get emails addressed to them personally. When you are finished click “Next” on the bottom right of your screen.click personalize field boxF. Now it’s time to select a Template. There are a lot of pre-made templates out there that are great! If you’d like to go the easy route click “Themes” and explore until you find one that works for you. If you want to choose a Layout and build the template yourself go for it! Simply click “Layout” and choose the one that works best for you. You’ll spend some time custom making your Template by choosing design and content elements. (Mailchimp also has a couple of helpful links in the Layout feature that will help you get started). choose theme mailchimpG. Now that you’ve chosen and designed your Template, it’s time to actually put together your newsletter. When you create your newsletter, you can choose to add some of the elements on the left side as you wish (such as additional text, images, graphs, etc.). To do so simply drag and drop where you want the element to the right side of your screen onto your existing Template.Start creating mailchimpH. When you are done creating your newsletter and carefully writing your text, I recommend previewing your Campaign and sending a test email to yourself first – so you can make 100% sure your e-newsletter is awesome!send a test email mailchimpStep 5: Send Your Campaign and Your DONE! 

Now that your done – click “Send”. You have successfully sent your first e-newsletter using Mailchimp. Congrats!

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I hope this tutorial is a help to those who don’t speak Mailchimp. Godspeed and good luck my friends, and may your future e-newsletters be awesome.

If you want more information on how what content to include in your newsletter, go to this previous post I did on the subject.

*Mailchimp will NOT create a PDF version of any Campaigns you create, so you CANNOT send snail mail newsletters using Mailchimp. My suggestion is to use a service like Mailchimp for e-newsletters and create a snail mail newsletter in another program – and make them similarly branded and cohesive. 

End of the Year Giving: The Facebook Campaign

During November and December try to focus on some good ways to reach out to individuals and utilize the best two giving months of the year.

If you are down the road in raising your finances enough (close to 80% raised) doing a Facebook campaign in the month of November or early December could be perfect in utilizing this window and helping you reach 100% (I DO NOT RECOMMEND FACEBOOK CAMPAIGNS BEFORE 80%).

You may have already read the previous post on this subject from last year: “How to Create a Successful Facebook Campaign and Other Glorious Facebook Information.”   

https://www.google.com/amp/s/jennfortner.com/2015/03/10/how-make-your-own-facebook-campaign-and-other-glorious-facebook-information/amp/?client=safari
If not, let me give you a summary. A Facebook Campaign essentially is getting together a team of 10-15 people who post daily on their Facebook walls, on your behalf, for around 10 days. You create the campaign with video content, give-a-ways, graphics, and a monthly goal you would like to reach over the duration of the Facebook Campaign. The end result is reaching out to a wide audience that may not have ever heard about you or your ministry any other way – and may be really eager to support someone in the ministry field.

If this is something that interests you, watch the videos below for more information and then read the very important tips:

 

Here are key things to keep in mind as you develop your Facebook campaign and develop any new relationships that come from it:

1. It is VERY IMPORTANT while doing your FB campaign to stay abreast on all likes and comments that come to you campaigners pages. Check them every day, more than once a day. Return comments with Private Messages (PM) and likes with PM when it feels appropriate. It is your job to connect further with the people responding, and if they have commented or liked but haven’t given, chances are with a personal message from you they may.

2. It is also VERY IMPORTANT to create great graphics and videos. No half-way doing this thing or results will be minimal. With a little work, the results will be fantastic.

3. it is VERY IMPORTANT to create a reasonable goal. (see video)

4. It is VERY IMPORTANT to follow up with your new financial partners after the Facebook campaign. Never let someone give to you without trying to get to know them. Attrition rates for someone giving to you on a monthly basis that you don’t know are statistically low – so beat that by building a relationship with your new financial partners. Do this by emailing them, calling them, Facebook messaging them. Whatever you do, ask them questions about themselves. Of course don’t overwhelm them – make them feel safe as they probably don’t know you well. Use common sense. Think about what would make you feel connected if you were in their shoes.

5. Think about creating a Facebook secret group with your campaigners and some prayer partners in the group. In that group you can post your posts for the campaigners every day. There should be around 15-20 campaigners and perhaps somewhere around 10-15 prayer partners in this group. (Your prayer partners will probably catch a burden and start funding you monthly if they aren’t already on your team)

6. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you communicate well with your campaigners from the very beginning. Tell them your goal and how many days, and communicate that you want them posting every day. ALSO VERY IMPORTANT to find out how they can best receive the post information from you. Some people post on Facebook from their phones – so a text may be better. Some people may do better with you giving them content in an email. Some may remember just fine by only getting it through your secret group. Find out what works best for them so they don’t miss a post. Make it easy for them.

I hope these tips help you create a solid Facebook campaign with new financial partners that you minister to along the way!

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Do Something Different, Use Sway

Have you ever heard of Sway? Sway is an App / web application that is about a year old and is a part of the Microsoft Office family of awesomeness.

It’s also free to use + simple, and I am in love with it. 

I wanted to dedicate a post to Sway because I think it can be a very effective (and outside-of-the-box) tool for anyone support raising. Below is a link of how I used it to present some basics on financial partnership development for an online class I taught:

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https://sway.com/xf67TFXn6wlrdDEX

Perhaps this makes you think, gee Jenn, that’s nice, but what are some practical ways I could use it in my support raising? Well, practical is practically my middle name – so I’ve thought about it and here is my list of ways to use Sway:

  1. Personal Stories. Connecting online with individual and church potential partners is a huge part of building your team. Use Sway to create something visually stimulating that immediately grabs people’s attention. I can see Sway helping you share your personal story and vision for ministry in some of the following ways (***always keep in mind – with all of these suggestions – to follow any security measures your sending organization  deems needed in developing content and sending out content):
    1. Put your Sway as a link in the signature of your emails.
    2. Email or Facebook pastors and potential support team members your Sway so they can read up a little of your passion and vision for ministry.
    3. Share your Sway on your Facebook group.
    4. Use Sway as a platform for a video. Instead of just watching your video – you could have it nicely displayed on your Sway with some text and background to enhance it even more.
    5. Put up your Sway on a tablet or computer for your display table for services, meetings, small groups, fundraising events, etc.
  2. Newsletters. Mailchimp is probably still the winner for electronic newsletters, but I wouldn’t hesitate to play around with Sway to see if one could create something of an archive of newsletters or something different from the norm.
  3. Reports. Infographics and interactive graphs are available on Sway and very simple to use. Here are some ways I can think of to use Sway for reports:
    1. Create a budget report with infographics and interactive graphs/charts to share with your support team or those on your potential support team who are asking for financial specifics.
    2. Create a landing page for your core prayer team. Include a video or other interactive material to get them excited about praying for your ministry (this could be prior to going to your field or while on your field).
  4. Presentations. If you have pictures or videos to share during your face-to-face appointments with potential financial partners, create a Sway to put them into one place. All you need is wifi or your phone to show the content.

Some advantages to using Sway:

  1. Downloading is not necessary. Sway is web and app based so no one will need  a certain software program to view your content.
  2. Sway comes with the ability to password protect the content and has various sharing preferences. For those of you going to sensitive areas, Sway comes with a little security. (however, as we all know nothing on the internet is wholly “secure”)
  3. Sway is great if you have a report, presentation, or personal story that needs to be updated on a regular basis. As it is web based, the person looking at your Sway won’t need to have the latest version sent to them, changes are automatically displayed for them.
  4. If creating a website seems daunting to you, you can create a simple one by using Sway. Fun!

If you have used Sway, please share with me how you used it for your work life or personal life! I would love to hear more examples of this tool.

 

Setting Up Your Social Media: Facebook Ministry Pages and Groups

Setting up various ministry social media is one of the beginning steps a christian worker takes in raising their support. Rightfully so! These days anyone raising personal support should be active on social media to build community and awareness of their ministry.

Creating a Facebook ministry Page or Group is one of the cornerstones in setting up ones social media presence. However, often times a worker chooses one before knowing the differences (or consequences) between Pages and Groups. Pages and Groups both have pros and cons. Groups have different settings making one Group vastly different from another. Here’s a guide to help you set up the Page or Group that works best for you!

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DECEMBER: THE GIVING MONTH

Did you know that last year 31% of ALL GIVING occurred in the month of December? Did you know that 12% of giving occurred in the last three days of the year?

Thus begs the question: Do you have a end of the year strategy for financial partnership development? If the answer is no, or you were even tempted to coast this month and just eat Christmas cookies, Christmas shop, and watch Elf and/or the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie 6 times in one week… I plead with you to keep those percentages in mind and reach higher. Here is a couple of quick ideas for your year end strategy:

  1. CREATE A GREAT CHRISTMAS NEWSLETTER TO YOUR EXISTING PARTNERSHIP BASE. Sometime before December 31st (probably not on Christmas or Christmas Eve), send out a Christmas newsletter to your existing financial and prayer partner list. These should be people you have already communicated your ministry vision and details with. Make it short and sweet and include the following components:
    1. Merry Christmas greeting and express your authentic thankfulness for your support team.
    2. 3-5 bullet points of prayer requests.
    3. A percentage update of where you are at raising your finances.
    4. A gift-wrappy-Christmasy-wonderful-snowy graphic that is a clickable link to your organization’s giving website. (Make it pretty – I made this one in 5 minutes using Canva.comFrom the Montgomery family
  2. HAVE FACE-TO-FACE APPOINTMENTS and DON’T STOP SCHEDULING THEM NOW BECAUSE YOU THINK EVERYONE IS TOO BUSY. Are you are tempted to put the breaks on contacting individuals for face-to-face appointments in the month of December? Let me tell you, experience has taught me that it is a GREAT time for face-to-face appointments. Don’t stop reaching out to connect with people over coffee and making the ask. Some tips:
    1. Pay for their coffee.
    2. Get a small gift for your potential financial partner and bring it to your appointment.
    3. Try and set up the appointment sooner than later. If they cant meet before the end of the year, put something in the calendar for January.
    4. Make it about them when you meet as much as it is about you. Ask questions and get excited about who they are.
    5. Send a thank you card after you meet with everyone!
    6. If you cannot reach someone now, don’t sweat it. Try reaching out to them again in January.
  3. SEND YOUR FINANCIAL PARTNERS CHRISTMAS CARDS / SMALL GIFTS. Now is a great time of year to express your thankfulness to your support team. Send a Christmas card with a handwritten note and include a small gift of thanks. It can go a long way in letting your financial partners know you care about them.
  4. CREATE A FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN IN DECEMBER. A well crafted, intentional, relational Facebook campaign can be helpful during this month of giving. Click here to find out more how to craft your own successful Facebook campaign.
  5. DUST OFF YOUR CONTACT LIST AND TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT IT. Now is a good time to go back to the beginning of your season of itineration. Dust off that old initial contact list and go through it with a fine comb. As you comb through it create a new list of those you were not able to get ahold of, those who have committed to give but haven’t started yet, and those you never asked because you got too scared (whhaaatt you say?! How did she know that?!), and those that you just simply have yet to ask. Take that list and get back to contacting them about joining your team. BONUS POINTS: As you go through your list text / email / Facebook message those that are highlighted to you and just say hi.

I hope you find these helpful. Whatever you end up doing for your end of the year strategy, make it as relational as possible.

Also, MERRY CHRISTMASTIME! I pray it is an amazing time of fellowship and family for you.

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The B Roll: All the Things They Didn’t Tell You

Support raising is a dense subject! Right? Right.

As I continue to teach on support raising, I’ve found typically there is more to teach than time allots for. As I coach numerous small groups and individuals, we just never get to all of the things. Teaching and learning how to raise a budget can be like drinking from a fire hydrant. #TOOMANYTHINGS

Thus, I’m calling this post: The B Roll.

This post goes out to all of those workers I have coached along the way! Here are some random pieces of information that may have gotten stuck in the cracks of little time, lots of practice, and dense material.
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I mentioned above the post on How To Create a Successful Facebook Campaign. Check it out and I hope it helps!

Also, a quick word on #5…I’m not saying never ask for a appointment on Facebook. I’m just saying do some strategic thinking before you do, and I wouldn’t default to it.

Want more practical tips, you can find them in the Financial Partnership Development Workbook here.

 

 

Learn how to do a Successful Facebook Campaign (NEW VIDEO!)

You may have already read the previous post on this subject: How to Create a Successful Facebook Campaign and Other Glorious Facebook Information.”  

With that post I want to give you the “Part 2” – with a new video explaining some of the ins and outs of creating a successful campaign. It was crafted by myself and the brilliant mind of our brand lead for Assemblies of God World Missions, Ericka Pasquale.  (thanks Ericka!)

(March 2015 video)

(NEW! May 2015 video)

If you are launching your own Facebook campaign, keep in mind that Facebook campaigns will primarily lead you to new financial partners who are referrals. The key to referral relationships is to develop them. Don’t take these new relationships for granted or assume they don’t want more involvement with you because you acquired their partnership via Facebook. I have this new quote that I love, and I think it fits nicely here:

“Your real goal isn’t about raising money. Your real goal is to raise up people and create solid, long-term relationships.” – Myles Wilson, author of Funding the Family Business

Here are some ways to develop relationships that come from your Facebook campaigns:

1. If they live near you, go grab coffee, lunch, or dinner together. Spend time getting to know them and cast vision about your ministry.

2. Reach out to them via Facebook messenger with electronic resources on your ministry, and add them to your ministry Facebook page.

3. Ask if you could connect via phone, Skype, or FaceTime with those new financial partners that live far away.

4. Send them a thank you card in the mail and/or a small gift when appropriate. Send them a e-thank you card if snail mail seems un-appropriate.

5. Start following their Facebook page. Find out what their interests are and how you can engage.

I hope these tips help you create solid, long-term partnerships with those you meet in your own Facebook campaign!