How much of your working time do you spend on your support-raising? A couple of hours a month? Maybe a day a month? Actually, triple that and you might then be giving it enough time according to Myles Wilson of Funding the Family Business.
Myles leads on the Support-Raising for Ministry Training days and can’t emphasise enough the importance of devoting time to building relationships with supporters, old and new. Myles suggests setting aside 10% of your working time to communicate with your supporters and as someone who’s raised support for over 40 years we think he probably knows what he’s talking about.
“Think of it as an investment of your time—an investment that will pay good dividends both in your work and also in the lives of your supporters.”
Mike Frith of OSCAR, who raises his own support and is part of the experienced training team at Stewardship, adds this “Invest in getting to know people. Not just those at the centre of things but those on the edge. You may be surprised who ends up supporting you.”
There is often a tension in ministries between spending time ‘doing the work’ and spending time ‘working on the ministry’. All too often the day-to-day work can take over from the maintenance of the ministry itself, including building up your network of supporters. “In the commercial sector, small businesses often go to the wall because the key player doesn’t spend enough time working on the business”, says Stephen Mathews, Head of Accountancy and Consultancy Services at Stewardship. “Investing a significant amount of your time working on your ministry is vital if it’s going to flourish long-term.” In other words do you invest in your ministry or give it your spare change?
That’s why we think it’s important to run the Toolkit for Ministry Training: Finance for Ministry is designed to flag up all the foundational and practical aspects of financial management for ministry, while Support-Raising for Ministry, based on the Funding the Family Business handbook examines the steps towards raising a strong, sustainable support base. Myles is totally committed to getting the message of effective support-raising across and has travelled the world over to encourage Christian Workers in their raising strong networks of supporters. Even a fire drill and chill winds can’t deter him as this picture from the last training day demonstrates!
If you want to hear more from the Training Team at Stewardship, including Mike and Myles—usually in a nice, warm training room—then get in touch with Fiona by email or check out the forthcoming dates and additional information here.
P.S. Did you know we run Trustee Training too? Open to anyone who’s new to being a trustee or needs a refresher with some practical tips and advice. Check it out here.