Updated: Sep 15, 2020
As you work to develop new partners for your ministry over time, you’ll see that there are two main factors that drive people to give: the head and the heart. Some partners will give from their heart - meaning they make a emotional decision to invest as a response to the stories, people, and vision that you share with them. Others get excited by hearing specific strategies, details, and a thorough plan for ministry. It’s important to note that neither one of these options is better or more Spirit-led than the other. God has created us to be uniquely motivated toward generosity.
That said there’s another thing you’re certain to see on your development journey: appealing to only one of these dimensions will only get you so far. If you want to truly inspire your partners to give a significant, faith-stretching gift you will need to capture both their minds and their hearts. Only then will you see partners begin to give in a radical way.
If you want to truly inspire your partners to give a significant, faith-stretching gift you will need to capture both their minds and their hearts.
There is much to be said about creating and sharing compelling stories from genuine people to engender emotional giving, but that won’t be the focus of this article. Rather, we want to give you a few quick tips to effectively inform your partners regarding the financial plan and needs for your team.
3 KEY CONCEPTS
Most donors don’t need or even want to know all the details – but they do want to be assured your house is in order. On a scale of 1 - 10 where 1 is no details and 10 is sharing every tiny detail, you should plan to share a 5 and be prepared to answer questions up to an 8. If they need more details, they’ll make it clear.
All organizations have needs, but few have exciting, challenging opportunities. It is critical that a ministry leader not come hat-in-hand, begging someone to give to their needs or cramming an idea or program down the throat of a potential ministry partner, hoping they’ll swallow. No ministry partner wants to give out of obligation or compulsion.
People give to people, justified by the cause. People want to feel a sense of connection with an individual. As a result, people always get more enthused about programs and projects that are helping specific people, especially changing lives. Overhead expenses such as rent, supplies, and even equipment like computers and projectors, just don’t strike an emotional chord like people do. The only exception is if the capital purchase can be linked to a changed life. For example, purchasing a projector that will allow more individuals like ‘X’ to view the JESUS Film.
People give to people, justified by the cause.
3 QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
Am I giving the donor more information than they need to make a decision? Listing too much detail leaves your budget open for too much scrutiny and distracts from the opportunity to give.
Am I presenting a need or am I presenting an opportunity? Budget deficits highlight needs. If you want people to get excited about your ministry, then present the results of what will happen (or, in some cases, what won’t happen) if they give their gift.
Is the budget and opportunity presented specific to the capability of the ministry partner? See the Major Partner Cycle for a review of how to determine capacity and inclination.