Not all your Supporters will be Average.

hardeep.singh @flickrWhen we asked “How Many Supporters Will you Need?” we assumed some averages.  As you are probably finding out, supporters aren’t all average!

80/20 Principle in Raising Missionary Support.

There is something economists call the 80/20 principle.  It applies to many aspects of life.  Simply put, 20% of inputs result in 80% of the outputs.  (It doesn’t matter that they add up to 100.  In some instances, 5% of inputs result in 75% of the results.  The point is that inputs do not equal outputs.)

So what does this mean for raising funds for missions?

You can’t rely on averages.

I don’t know for sure, but my best guesstimate is that a monthly supporter of a missionary gives on average $60 towards that missionary.

Of course, there is a range.  Here’s where the 80/20 principle comes in.

Let’s assume that you are raising funds for your whole family to serve overseas as missionaries.  This could mean that you need $10,000 of monthly support.

Be a Fully Funded Missionary_3D Web

Once you have those funds raised, you will probably see the 80/20 principle in action.  That is, 80% of your support dollars will come from 20% of your partners.  If you have 100 monthly supporters, this means that 80% of your monthly support would come from just 20 individuals.

Those 20 supporters would average $400 per month.

The remaining 80 supporters would be giving an average of $25 per month.

There’s a big difference between the two!

These are  of course very rough numbers, but they do sufficiently illustrate a point.

Apply the 80/20 Rule to Raising Missionary Support.

Ask donors to partner financially at a high level.  You will need some of them to give hundred, even thousands, of dollars per month.

Don’t be discouraged by donors who give “only” $15 per month.

Another key application: a face-to-face meeting with an individual potential giver to ask for a monthly partnership gets big results.

Likewise, meeting personally with a church’s missions committee and challenging to partner with you financially gets big results.

With churches or individuals, face-to-face time with potential financial partners is the most effective use of time.


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