How to Move from 'Asking for Money' to Financial Partnership

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t hear these words, “I hate asking people for money.” As a fundraising coach, I expect to hear them at some point from every client, whether it’s a missionary or a high level executive. And I guess I would hate asking people for money too, if I were asking just for the money.

There are all kinds of reasons people don’t like asking for money. One main reason is the client simply lacks clarity. Sometimes it’s a lack of clarity about the impact they will have when they reach their mission field. Other times, it’s more a lack of clarity about the strategy they will use in order to allow this impact to happen through their lives.

This can be a big problem.

How can you be confident in asking someone to invest in a ministry when you don’t really know how it will be used or what difference it will make?

You can’t. Not really. What you’re doing is relying on the quality of the relationship alone. We call this“relationship capital”. And don’t get me wrong, every good ask for partnership is built on a good relationship. But without communicating clear impact and strategy, you’re really just calling in a favor. “We’ve been friends for a while now. And you know I’m a missionary. So you should be obedient in giving so that I can do what God has called me to do.” Uh, negative.

This won’t get you very far. You may be able to do this once or twice, if you’re brave. But that’s about it. On the flip side, when you ask someone to give to advance the Kingdom and you can clearly articulate how your organization or missionary team has a strategy to do so, ask away! It’s a breath of fresh air for you and for them.

You no longer need to be reserved or hesitant because you know that when you ask people to give, you’re asking them to share the Gospel along with you.

So stop asking people to support you and start asking people to partner with you.


Russell Cooper, Tailored Fundraising Solutions Co-Founder

As co-founder of Tailored, I am dedicated to developing generosity in the Body of Christ. This is why I'm passionate about creating strategic partnerships with disciple-making organizations, as well as coaching leaders. When I have free time, I'm watching America’s Test Kitchen and trying out new recipes on my wife, my most dependable food critic. I also have fun taking care of our backyard chickens, Vicky and Flo.

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