Step 1: Take Inventory of Prospective Supporters
List all the people you could possibly contact for support. Don’t exclude anyone at this point, and keep in mind that you are looking for prayer partners as well as financial partners. Next to the name, put their contact information, and leave space to record pledges (See Appendix 1). You may want to use a notebook or put together a binder for easier organization. Be sure to think through the following categories of people in your life:
- Family Members and Relatives
- Family Friends
- Friends on Campus (including your InterVarsity Chapter)
- Friends outside of campus
- Church Pastors and Missions Committee Heads
- Church Members (home church and school church)
- InterVarsity Alumni From Your School
- Current/Former Employers and Work Colleagues
- Current/Former Neighbors
- Those Who Have Influenced You Spiritually
- Special Networks (extracurricular clubs, etc.)
Pray specifically for guidance as you come up with your support list. Ask God to provide the finances and prayer supporters that you will need. Pray for these potential supporters as you are aware of their needs. Identify one or more prayer partners immediately. These are people who agree to pray for you between now and when you return. Ask them to keep you accountable and to pray for you throughout the support raising process.
Step 2: Estimate Network Capacity
As some donors may ask for an amount to give, it is helpful and important to have an estimate of where your financial support will come from in mind. This exercise can also help you decide how much financial support to ask of certain groups of people. Review your inventory sheets, and fill in the blanks using this worksheet.
Global Program Fee: $________
amount you will give $________
amount family/relatives will give $________
amount family friends will give $________
amount friends will give $________
amount churches will give $________
amount church members will give $________
amount InterVarsity alumni will give $________
amount employers/colleagues will give $________
amount neighbors will give $________
amount others will give $________
Balance should equal =$ 0 (or less than 0)*
*If your balance is less than 0, it provides an ideal cushion. If you are confident that you can raise more than the Global Program fee, you may want to consider asking one of these groups to give towards your personal expenses (See FAQ’s for details) rather than to the program fee.
Step 3: Prepare Yourself For Asking
Many missionaries have a difficult time asking people for support. To alleviate fears and to be most effective, you will need to do your homework ahead of time. First, plan how you will ask each person: via phone, email, letter, face-to-face, group presentation, etc. (See Tools for Asking). At a minimum, consider sending out a letter announcing your acceptance on a Global Program.
No matter how you communicate with people, you will need to organize your thoughts before you begin contacting them. Practice your speech several times. You may want to outline the answers to the following questions on a note card (See Appendix 2).
- How did I become a Christian?
- How did I hear about the Global Program?
- What will I be doing and learning through the Global Program?
- Why am I going?
- What do I need (prayer and specific amount of money)?
- What do I want from you (specific amount, referral, or prayer commitment)?
- When will I leave (travel schedule)?