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March 18, 2020
Raising Financial Support: Tips for Getting to 100%
By New Churches Team
Nick Brzozowski is planting Anchor Church in Champaign, Illinois; Charley Dever is planting Hope Church in Knoxville, Tennessee; and Brady Gray is planting The Grove Church in Bardstown, Kentucky. All three had to raise their own support as they began the process to plant their churches.
Nick started the process by namestorming – listing every person they could think of. He then divided that list into categories such as, known Christians that he thought would connect with the mission, people who may not be initially interested, students, etc. In May 2019, he began sending out letters to people on the list. He followed up with phone calls requesting a one-on-one meeting. He did not make a financial ask until the one-on-one meeting. By September 2019, Nick was 100% funded.
Charley also started with namestorming, but he did not choose to send out letters. He reached out with an in-person ask for a meeting or by sending a text to those he with whom had a close relationship. He then met with them one-on-one to share his vision and made the financial ask at that one-on-one meeting. He also held a banquet to introduce people to the church, but again, he did not make a financial ask in that setting. He offered to meet one-on-one with anyone who wanted more information. He began the process in mid-May 2019 and was fully funded at the end of July 2019.
Brady started out in a similar way by namestorming. Like Nick, he also began by sending out letters. But as he met with the first group to whom he sent letters, he found that the letters did not get the return he had hoped for. Most people did not even read the letter. So he switched to reaching out first by phone call or text message. Like Nick and Charley, he did not make the financial ask until an in-person meeting. Brady began this process in February 2019 and was fully funded in January 2020.
In the digital age, most people are easiest to reach on their phone. But it is also common for people to screen their texts and phone calls. This is a challenge when it comes to raising support for church plants. Brady found that sending a text message to let the person know that you were planning to call shortly was helpful in getting them to answer. Nick also suggested reaching out in different ways. If you sent an email to connect with someone last week, reach out by phone this week. And if you feel that your messages are overwhelming the person, take a break for a week or two from contacting them.
Nick shared two lessons that he learned through this process: humility and confidence.
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