The Communication Cycle - Explained

How often do you need to communicate with your financial partners? Is that really an important part of your mission? It can all be traced back to your mindset: are you raising support, or building a financial partnership team? Is it just semantics? Probably. But there’s a deeper paradigm you hold that needs to be addressed.

If you view your financial partners just as a necessary add-on in order for you to get to the ministry the Lord has called you to fulfill, then you’re missing a big blessing. And you’re executing a model that is limiting how much funding you can raise. The “raising support” paradigm often means you’re doing a task that must be done so that you can move on to the “bigger and better” job of ministry.

Instead, maybe you should view your donors as a part of fulfilling the mission, an important, integral, and indispensable part of your ministry. As well as a way for you to involve others that truly care about the gospel centered work you’ve been called to do through prayer and finances. These people are partners with you and are impacting the world with you.

So, how do you put this new paradigm into practice? How do you begin treating your donors as an integral part of your ministry? It’s simple. Use this communication cycle.

This communication cycle is an adaption from our friends at The Passionate Giving Blog.

1- Identify Interest and Passions

You need to be interested enough in the other person - your potential financial partner - to learn about them and build a genuine relationship with them. To learn more about that relationship, you can read What Do I Talk About with a Donor Besides Money?

2- Articulate the Problem and Solution

In this case, you have identified the problem or need in the people group you plan to serve. You are now communicating that in a captivating way to your potential financial partner, and asking them to join with you to make a difference. Ask them directly and passionately to join you.  

They love the mission, and choose to give financially to join with you and make a difference in people’s lives. You are now in the maintenance cycle with these financial partners.

3- Grow Trust and Build the Relationship

You switch from convincing others of your passion to regular contact. The two elements here are: You Made A Difference, and Touch Point. Because this is a financial partnership, you are offering your partner the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life with you. Be sure to frame your ministry successes and daily battles in that way. They are invested in you and the mission, so touch base with them, offering up the ways they have made a difference with you and through your presence and ministry on the field.

From a seasoned missionary answering a question at

Donors NEED your feedback and updates to feel connected to your ministry and to pray and continue support for a cause they feel interested in... How much time are you spending touching base with your financial partners and reminding them they have made a difference?
— Glenn in Tanzania

A professional non-profit fundraising firm had this to say about why donors didn’t give again:

The MGO [Major Gift Officer] never told the donor that their gift made a difference. This is so amazing to [us]. Telling the donor about impact is as crucial to a donor relationship as air is to the human body. You cannot live without it. And a donor’s enthusiasm will not survive without proof that their giving made a difference. Won’t happen.
— Richard Perry at Veritus Group

4- Keep Moving

It’s normal to stay in the communication cycle for some time, but not forever. Be intentional to break out of the the YMAD and Touchpoint cycle every 6 or 12 months. You can identify another problem and making another relevant ask. Sometimes this means asking your donor to increase giving or asking them to make a longer commitment. You’re still accomplishing something together, while also keeping the ever-changing needs of your ministry fresh in their minds. 

This communication cycle is your key to having successful relationships with your financial partners. Want more great Tailored Fundraising tools? Sign up for a free 30 minutes with a coach here.

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