Don't Bring Donors a Problem ... Bring a solution FeaturedWritten by John Muehleisen
Many people approach donors with a "problem," and see the donor as the solution to that problem.
Turn that around. Instead of asking your donor to be the solution to your problem, why don't you become the solution to the donor's problem!
Here's how ...
So many times when we approach a potential donors, we are bringing the donor a problem and we are hoping that they will be the solution to our problem.
Although we try to be subtle about it, the conversation usually goes like this:
Hello Mr. Donor.
I have a problem. And you are the solution to that problem.
I need money.
And, as I said, you are the solution to my problem.
Please give me money.
We have learned many ways to soften this conversation, but this is often at the heart of what we are saying.
How would you respond to a salesman who said, "Hello Mr. Customer. I need to feed my family and pay the rent, so will you please buy this item so I can get money."
Probably you would not respond positively. You are looking for a mutually satisfactory business exchange, and really, you are willing purchase the product that is being sold if it solves your problem.
So, when talking to donors or potential donors, we need to see what problem they have that we can help be the solution to.
What problem does a donor have?
So, what problem does a donor have that you can solve?
Essentially, their problem is that God has blessed them, and they know it.
And they know that He wants them to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to them.
They want to use their money well where it will make a real difference in the llives of people, through a person or agency that they have confidence in, so that they can feel that they have been faithful to what God has called them to.
It is at exactly this point that we are able to help offer them a solution to their problem, because we can be someone who works with them to fulfill what God has called them to do.
And that is really the key!
Did you catch that last sentence? It is vitally important.
We help them fullfill what God has called them to do.
One of our tasks as we enter into a true partnership with supporters of the ministry is for us to help them fulfill what God has called them to do, not just for them to help us do what God has called us to do.
So, we don't ask them to solve our problem. We help them find a way to fulfill (in a greater and greater way) God's design for them.
And as we work together to see God glorified in and through our lives and ministries, we both develop in our walk with the Lord.
Don't bring a donor (or potential donor) a problem.
Bring them a solution.
John Muehleisen is the regional strategist for World Gospel Mission in Africa.
He loves to help ministry teams clarify their "wildly important goals" and then connect those teams to the training, networks, people, and resources they need to execute their strategy.
In addition, he is the Transformational Training Coordinator for WGM in Africa.
He and his wife Beth currently live in Kampala, Uganda. They have two adult daughters who were raised in Nairobi where they lived for almost 20 years prior to moving to Uganda in 2007.wgm.org