Posts tagged Donor
Most of the leadership & business books today advocate being generous in sharing compliments with co-workers and others. I find many to be insincere. What is the secret of giving a good compliment?

In giving a compliment avoid “glittering generalities.” Mention a specific trait you like about that person. Don’t merely say, “You are a great boss!” Explain why you think she is a great boss. For example, “You have created an enjoyable work environment. Your willingness to listen makes me feel significant in my job—especially last Friday when I was feeling down. Thank you.”

Explaining the details will take more time and require you to put some thought into your compliment. But it is worth it! You will have uplifted your boss. She already knows she’s “great.”

Similarly, with giving partners avoid glittering generalities like, “Your support is encouraging!” Rather try, “Your faithful giving each month without a miss puts wind in my ministry sails—thank you.”

Take your time. 

What if a giving partner says they will support you for one year only—and the year is now up—what can you do to get them to continue longer?

Sometimes nothing. They said 12 months, and they meant 12 months! Thank the Lord and move on, keeping them on your mailing list and in communication of course. I have been in ministry long enough to see that several current giving partners started as 1-year or ‘one-off’ donors. Stick with them.

But sometimes the donor will continue longer if they like what they hear from you. A current partner told me they “could only give for 12 months”—that was 42 months ago! When I phone them, the wife always reminds me they “cannot continue indefinitely!” But they like what I am doing, and I take an interest in them. I always pray with her on the phone.

Or try this. After 11 months:

  • Phone or meet with the donor privately to say thank you. Report on progress in your ministry and the challenges as well. Be vulnerable.
  • Acknowledge their 12-month commitment but that you would love for them “continue for as long as the Lord leads.” Share your hopes for the future, and invite them to be part of it.

You might be tempted to say nothing—hoping they will give past 12 months. But I don’t recommend that. Honor them by taking their giving promise seriously; talk with them about it. It is likely they will change their mind.

Bottom line: Write compelling newsletters with intriguing stories. Phone or contact the donor now and then privately to express interest in them. They can’t help but stick with you beyond 12 months!