Invest 180 Minutes for a New Year of Funding!

© The Navigators. Do not use without permission.

© The Navigators. Do not use without permission.

When January 1 rolls around, I sometimes find myself demotivated in funding. I moan, “My budget has increased. How will I ever find enough money for the next 12 months?” I call it the January Funding Blues. 

After humming a few bars of the Blues, I confess my self-centeredness and I go to work. I say, “Lord give me grace, not for the whole year, but for 180 minutes today to discover my current reality.” He answers that prayer according to Hebrews 4:12— “grace to help in time of need.” I don’t yet need grace for July—I need it now for 180 minutes!

But I do not start by listing names. I simply fill out two worksheets (below).

Guideline: First, discover current reality. Secondly, make plans. If your funding plan is built on inaccurate data or last year’s impressions, frustration sets in.

As your senior funding friend, I give you permission to take time from busy-ness to spend 180 minutes on this ministry assignment:


Fill out the Three-year Tracking Report (include both local and foreign donor income)

Until you fill out the three-year history you are at the mercy of your feelings about your funding past. Most Fundraisers have dramatically increased support over three years, but they assume they are still doing poorly. 


Fill out the Up Till Now Report (for appeals you made in 2018

One worker concluded he was a “bad fundraiser” – he could only remember the “many no’s” he had received. But when he filled out his Up Till Now Report, he found he had received 12 yeses and only 2 no’s. But the NO’S dominated his mind. 

As you study your Up Till Now Report, note:

a.  Undecideds. I say, “We talked last year about support for our ministry, but I have not heard back from you. Let’s meet again—new things are happening!”

b.  Those who pledged to give but gave only once or twice. I say, “You said you would support our work and you gave twice [in January and March]. Thank you. Let’s meet, and I can bring you up to date.” 


Fill out the Top 25 Worksheet

List the names of people to invite for your support team in 2019—include lapsed partners. Do not ask: “Who will give me money in 2019?” Ask instead, “Who needs to hear my story in 2019?” 

Before you set appointments, pray over your Top 25. Ask God to prepare their hearts and yours.

How about you? Are you singing the January Funding Blues? I was encouraged by one of my Japanese colleagues who wrote, “Thank God that we reached up to budget this year [2018].” Indeed, he is at 110% of budget. He made appeals by letter and face-to-face (in an indirect culture!) and received all yeses and only one “undecided.” And the givers are following through!

 Full funding is possible—even in Japan where less than 1% are Evangelical.