As coaches we listen to our clients to better understand their mindsets coming into fundraising. We ask powerful questions that often uncovers hidden expectations and motives. This can lead to discoveries that are critical to their fundraising success. Although critical, it can also sometimes be uncomfortable for the coach, who is present while spouses deal with new realities.
Recently, I coached a couple who, in 5 years of ministry, had never been fully funded - not even close. In our first session, it became evident that their experience thus far left them feeling exhausted and like they were plugging holes that were constantly leaking. The wife said, “If we are not fully funded by the end of the three months we have left to fundraise, then I am done.” But when I asked what their individual roles in fundraising are, she said she didn’t really want to be involved. I could see the disappointment on her husband’s face as he listened to her share her feelings and disappointments. He said he didn’t want to shoulder the weight of fundraising alone and turned to her to be involved. This began an honest discussion between the two of them about their expectations of each other with me in the background.
After listening to her, it was clear that she saw fundraising as only making phone calls, meeting with people and following up with them. So I asked her one simple question, “What strengths do you have that God could use to help in this process?” God used that one simple question to help her think outside of the box. Honing in on her strengths, showing her the need for them, and providing her with opportunities to use them, helped her go from not wanting to do anything, to being an invaluable part of the team!
Each week, she embraced her role more and more and it was amazing to see how far they came together! And God, in His goodness, provided over and above what they ever could have imagined! I think that was the biggest breakthrough for me to see. Seeing her mindset shift moved me, because it reminded me how personal the commitment to fundraising is, and how each person’s unique contribution is necessary to see a project to its full potential.