The purpose of this series is to equip you, as a missionary, to walk into meetings with potential donors with confidence. There are some simple tools you can use to present your ministry with conviction to anyone that may be willing to join you as a financial partner. If you missed Part 1 & Part 2 of this series, you can find them both here.
Every person who initiates a meeting with a potential financial partner desires to clearly communicate their mission and walk away with a new partner in ministry. But how do you do that well? Here are 4 tips you cannot ignore.
1. Connect with the other person and discover their passions.
You absolutely must start your meeting by genuinely connecting with your potential new partner, and this isn’t just small talk. The difference between small talk and connecting is actively listening to their story. This is not simply giving a culturally appropriate, “How are you?” to appear friendly, but truly being interested in their lives. Ask them to tell you more about their family or how God led them to this particular place in their lives. People feel understood and valued when they are listened to by another. Asking questions and listening could be a tremendous opportunity to be a blessing in people's lives.
Good questions are about things someone may be interested in. Great questions ask them about their passions, which can connect with your passions. Let’s say you are a missionary heading overseas and meeting with potential financial partners for your upcoming ministry. Here are a few examples of great questions to get you started.
What are your God-given passions? How did you develop a passion for that?
Have you ever lived or worked overseas? Why or Why not?
Have you been a part of any ministry or volunteer experience that made an impact on you? What was that experience like?
Yes, there is an obvious theme here, open ended questions! Allowing every question to be open ended gives your potential financial partner an opportunity to tell you the things that are most important to them. So, you need to listen carefully. Ideally, this person will be your financial partner for the long term. Knowing their passions and interests will show a deeper love and concern for them.
2. Tell your story.
Now that you’ve taken time to listen to your potential financial partner, you can transition into your story. This is not vanity, but an important opportunity for your financial partner to connect with you and with your ministry. Keep it short and ministry focused so that they can understand more about you as well as more about the mission you are asking them to join.
3. Use core messages to clearly communicate your ministry.
Core messages are the foundational structure of your mission, which flow out of your mission statement. The first core message should focus on the need you are addressing in ministry; do you know and understand the need of the people you will be ministering to? The second core message should be your solution to that need; what is the solution to the need you’re addressing? Lastly, an effective core message states the outcome or results you hope the solution will produce; if that need is met, what does success look like for your ministry? The answer to these questions will pull out your ministry’s core messages.
Once you have defined what your core messages are, you will have the confidence and ability to communicate your ministry clearly to others.
So, what do you say in a meeting with a potential financial partner? Clearly state your ministry’s vision (you can learn more about that here) and explain the core messages of your ministry. If you have time, and your financial partner is interested, tell them how you got involved with this particular ministry. Tell a story about how much this people group need the hope of the gospel, or tell a story about what God is already doing in that ministry field. Then tell your potential partner how together, you can create a partnership that will provide a solution for these people.
All of these pieces can be communicated in just a few minutes; less than ten minutes would be ideal. If this is overwhelming to you, email us and let’s talk about how we can help you get to a place of confidence in your ministry’s core messages.
4. Invite them to partner with you.
Most people want to share the gospel with others and meet the needs of those who don’t know Him. However, people need to be asked to help meet those needs in order to become a part. You have a great opportunity to connect a potential financial partner to impacting this world with you; it’s your job to present that opportunity clearly.
Implement these four principles and begin to develop the financial partner you are looking for. These principles can increase your chances of gaining a new financial partner at each meeting.
Jenny Karr, Fundraising Coach
My mission is to train, equip, and support people in ministry and as the Director of Training and Coaching Services, I get to do all of those things in one role! When I’m not coaching, training, or writing blogs, I’m enjoying time at home or in the city with my husband, daughter, and friends here in Nashville, TN.