Follow up, follow up, follow up.
Bill is right on with this. You have to be persistent to start with, but after you present the vision of your ministry, you have to continue to be persistent.
“When a person indicates he or she wants to pray about my request, I ask if I can call him or her in two days.”
If you are raising support from individuals, this is great advice.
You have to follow up if you are focusing on churches, but it looks a little different.
Follow up, but with churches.
If you have presented your ministry to the decision makers at a church, then you need to follow up with them within 48 hours, as Bill would recommend.
However, with a church, they almost always tell you that they can’t support you. So how do you follow up if they’ve told you they can’t support your missionary efforts financially?
Send a thank you note or email.
Ask if you could add them to your prayer letter list. Ideally, you should send an email about monthly with updates and prayer requests. This can also include some hard copy letters sent through the post as well.
About 3 to 6 months later, contact the church again and ask if they are in a position to support you now. With some prayer, you can wisely craft a letter or email that keeps the contact fresh just to see if they might be able to support you in the future.
Here are the three main ways a church will start supporting you:
- Very infrequently, they will have funds available, want to focus on your ministry, and they will start supporting you right away.
- Another missionary they support will leave the field during the budget year, and it will free up funds.
- Your presentation convinces them to expand their missions budget – or start a missions budget.
- They start supporting you when the new budget year begins.
Your goal is to be first in line when funds do become available. To be sure that happens, you have to follow up after presenting to the decision makers at the church.