Diary and Confessions of a Donor Ministry Trip---Summary. Was it worth seven days and $2300?
Made it home safely last night about 7 p.m. On the airplane I recorded these “metrics” (international readers, please don’t be overwhelmed by the USD amounts because economic scales are much different around the world):·
Appointments: 13 appointments over 7 days in 4 states plus a funeral (interacted with 27 individuals—staff, giving partners, future donors)
Types of appointments:
- 2 staff couples directed-training for 28 hours, 2 staff couple visits (one new staff joined and asked a ton of questions about continuing in MPD, another staff joined also—6 staff units total)
- 1 Nav alumni I hadn’t seen in 20 years
- 8 giving partners (units)
- $5000 gift—an increase of $4000 over previous years
- 2 new friends of giving partners added to mailing list
- 2 partners said they would increase year-end giving
- 1 monthly partner who couldn’t meet agreed to increase support by $10 per month
- Cultivation of 3 future potential donors
- 2 staff secured 7 MPD appointments while I conducted a phoning exercise with them
- 3 friends wanted to receive my evangelism booklet for their non-believing friends
- Informed, encouraged, listened to 11 current and future giving partner (units), 6 staff—27 individuals total,
- One partner said, “Scott, it is of the Lord that you came to visit us this weekend.”
- Staff thanked me for helping them in their FR with appointments and rejuvenation (wives too)
- Much “bonding” with all
- I came back encouraged!
Cost: $2300 (airfare, rental car, meals and meals for others, 3 hotel rooms, tolls, Almond Joy candy bar)
Question: You spent $2300 on giving partners who gave a total of $15,100 last year. Isn’t that too much—$2300 to “manage” $15,100—15.8% of what they gave?
Answer: With the two increases it is now $19,220, but think long term. If these partners give for the next 10 years, then I spent $2300 to manage a potential $192,200—1.2%! Most will give for 10 years. At 5 years that is $2300 to manage $96,100.
This is the metrics rationale for donor ministry.
Question: Won’t donors continue to give anyway if they get newsletters without expensive time-consuming donor visits?
Answer: That is a dangerous assumption! If a few do continue, they will not likely increase. Also, they constantly receive appeals from other friends, and they can easily switch giving to a new ministry if the bond is weak with you. One partner told me on this trip that he now gives more to fewer ministries. Thankfully, I made the cut!
Summary: Thanks to the Lord for keeping me safe while traveling 1800 miles by rental car. And for His grace in enabling me to stay energized with a listening ear to 27 individuals over seven days.
Tips for others:
1. Plan well. Set up appointments ahead of time. Don’t just “go!”
2. Send thank yous to all with whom you stayed overnight, or who provided you with a meal or $5000!
3. Take notes as needed. And it is needed!
4. Be prepared to listen, but have a few photos ready to describe your ministry.
5. Take “leave-behinds.” I took a bunch of books and came home with an empty box.