a ministry of WorldVenture
It is inevitable that after some time of working on the field in needy areas that every missionary finds a special projects that would make a big difference for the people they are working with, but past the formality of requesting a project get approved and having the website set up to receive gifts. What else do you do?
This is the question: What are some best practices for engaging a people to get behind a special project?
This is probably less of an issue for small projects, but when you are talking $50,000, or $100,000, or more, it would be good to have a fundraising plan beyond just a supporter appeal letter. (Unless, you have all the time in the world to wait)
For this discussion, can everyone include test cases and success stories, checklists of things to do, and evaluation of techniques you have used and how well they worked (i.e. desert parties, email campaigns, etc.)
1. Identify your audience.
2. Research and write your proposal:
Clear title (and Executive Summary if larger than $5,000)
Purpose (what is the problem?)
Suggested solution (and vision of what could be)
Background (History, facts, stats, example, analysis) why it hasn't worked before.
Unique contribution (Resume of experience and skill to accomplish)
My Plan and Solution (timeline, details, costs, value)
Summary or Conclusion (invitation for partners and funding).
3. Presention and follow-up of proposals.
4. Publish on web or...
Pray and engage others in prayer for the fundraising project. If it is worthy of raising tens of thousands of dollars to fund, it is worth spending time in prayer and encouraging others to genuinely pray.
Engaging others in prayer for funding of a project should not devolve into "backward asking" for gifts. Requests for gifts should be straightforward. Requests for prayer should be equally straightforward.
Some specific things that we have done are:
1. Pray, Pray, Pray, then trusting God's wisdom in our lives run with the creative ideas He gives.
2. I have found that special projects need to be publicized a couple times a year and not every month like regular support. Also, a specific fundraising push helps, not mixed up with a regular newletter or email update.
3. Different people support different projects. Some of my special projects have a small group of people that I call or email with specific requests, knowing that they have a specific interest. Mail Chimp is great for building smaller lists inside a bigger list.
4. Any supporter over $5,000 to a special project should get a year-end report, more stories and pictures, but with detail of how the gift was used, similar to one you would give to a foundation that gives grants. I have gotten a good repeat response from these kinds of supporters.