How much time should I schedule for fundraising?

I hesitate to answer this question because there is no one right answer. But I've found this "no-answer" reply doesn't help. At the risk of legalism, here are some guidelines. Where do you fit in?

Ministry Status___________% of budget raised________ Time allotted for MPD

Rookie, just beginning........................0.........................................80-100% of time

Short 1-2 year assignment.................0-50%...............................80-100% of time

In first 2-3 years of ministry.............25-60%.............................80-100% of time

In 4-6th year of ministry...................60-80%..............................80-100% of time

Whenever in ministry.........................80-100%.............................25% of time

Whenever in ministry........................100-110%.............................10% of time

Staff Leader (added projects).......100-110%..............................20% of time

National Director.................................... -- ......................................30-40% of time

Until you reach 100% of your funding goal, most of your ministry time should be spent in fundraising.

80-100% of your time in funding! Some ministry workers struggle to focus exclusively on one thing for 40 hours a week. If so, work a few hours at other aspects of your ministry or at your secular job so you are energized to throw yourself into funding for the bulk of the week. 

Somehow, we have allowed the notion that it is okay to be casual about full-funding, even if it takes years. Some missionaries in the US have never been fully funded--ever! 

Many organizations have full-funding policies but do not enforce them. So their staff languish at 60-85% year after year, not realizing the negative effects both on them and the people in their ministries. For example:

  • Pressure in the home. Wives instinctively feel the financial pinch before their visionary husbands (usually). If Momma ain't happy...
  • Fewer ministry options. Staff workers downsize a weekend retreat because of money concerns. Or they postpone sending a newsletter. Or they decide to stay home from a staff meeting.
  • Think about money all the time. When missionaries are behind in funding, their mind drifts toward finances when they are at rest. But it is not restful! Admit it! What are you thinking about when you are broke? 
  • No savings. Many missionaries "get by" at 85%, but they do not save at that level. And sooner or later, the car will need tires. Or when it's time for a much needed vacation, where will the money come from?

How much time should you set aside for fundraising? 100% until you are fully funded with the money "in the house!"