The “language” of raising support is different than the language of fundraising. So is the psychology.
Raising funds tends to focus on needs and on money. Even more significant is that “fundraising” tends to be viewed as short-term by both the fund raiser and by the donor. You have a problem/need. Money is the answer to that need. You want my money to solve your problem/need. Why is that a problem for you as one who is raising support for your ministry?
It’s important to think about the psychology of support raising.
It’s important to understand the mind of your prospective partner. You do yourself no favors by approaching them to “raise funds for my ministry.” Why? Because it makes them think the way I’ve described above.
Raising support is different. It’s about seeking partners, rather than money. It’s about providing opportunity, rather than focusing on your needs. It’s about having a mutual objective to make an impact, rather than to pay your bills so you can have an impact.
Think how those words change the way your support-raising activity “sounds” — both to your prospective partners AND to you! When we train people in development — whether it’s professional staff who raise funds for their organizations or missionaries who are raising partners to support their ministries, we emphasize the difference by showing what people really want to “buy” instead of just “things.” Here are a few examples:
Don’t sell me insurance. Sell me peace of mind and a secure future for my family.
Don’t sell me clothes. Sell me a sharp appearance, style and attractiveness.
Don’t sell me tires. Sell me safety, freedom from worry and great mileage.
Don’t sell me a house. Sell me comfort, contentment, a good investment and pride of ownership.
Don’t sell me things. Sell me ideals, feelings, self-respect, home life and happiness.
ALWAYS pay careful attention to the language you use when raising support!
Don’t sell your prospects and partners things — costs, needs, etc. Instead, focus on values, opportunities to make a difference, impact in people’s lives and working together as partners to accomplish God’s purposes. Help your prospects and partners HEAR what THEY WANT AND NEED to hear in order to make an easy decision about whether to join your team.
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