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The Stress of Support Raising: There’s a Better Way

by | Jun 14, 2024

Living life as a missionary funded by the generosity of others can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s not without its share of challenges and nail-biting moments. 

Have you ever found yourself lying awake at night, wondering if enough money will come in to pay the bills this month? Or asking yourself, How much longer can we live like this? Will we even be able to continue on the field? I’m exhausted from asking, needing, and never knowing! 

There is hope!

No, we don’t believe God wants you to live under constant anxiety about finances. He is your provider, and while we all hit bumpy patches where we get to believe for miracles, he also wants to generously bless us so we can bless those we serve. 

(A quick note: more finances don’t automatically mean less stress. There are plenty of anxious people with more than enough. Our hope is that you can fully trust in God to meet your needs no matter what your circumstances and that you can see the vision he’s given you fully funded.)

If you are feeling some of that pressure we talked about, you’re not alone. At Modern Day Missions, we conducted a survey last year, and guess what? The missionaries we talked to said that finances were one of their biggest challenges and stressors.

The “F” Word

Fundraising. It can be a nightmare for some of us, and if you’re one of them, you’re not alone. Introverted missionaries can find themselves having to put on their best extrovert face to ask for support. It’s not just the fear of rejection; it’s also about not always knowing how to communicate our mission effectively or where to find people willing to support us.

And then there is the rollercoaster of unpredictable donations. Sometimes we’re riding high with monthly supporters, and then, out of the blue, someone loses their job, changes beliefs, or decides they’d rather not be part of the support team anymore. This unpredictability can make it challenging to maintain the steady flow of resources necessary for our mission work and daily needs.

Mindset Shifts to Reduce Stress

Let’s shift gears and talk about how to dial down that anxiety. In an episode with Modern Day’s president, Elias Reyes, he shared some mindset shifts that can make a huge difference.

Eternal Perspective: Imagine fixing our eyes on the big picture, just like Jesus did when things got tough. Let’s remember why we’re doing this in the first place, and think about the joy that lies ahead. Keeping this perspective helps us stay grounded and focused on the ultimate goal of our mission.

Passion and Vision: Believe in your mission wholeheartedly and let your excitement shine. People tend to support visions more than needs, so let’s make sure we’re clear about our mission and super excited to share it. When we convey our passion, it inspires others to join us in our journey.

Team Player Mentality: We might feel like we’re on our own, but we’re not. Let’s be open to help from others and embrace the resources and organizations that are out there to support us. By collaborating and seeking assistance, we can lighten the load and find more innovative solutions to challenges.

Growth Mindset: Instead of thinking we’re stuck with our current fundraising skills, we can remember that growth is possible. With a little help, practice, and maybe some stumbles along the way, we can get better at it. Every experience, whether positive or negative, is a step toward becoming more effective support raisers.

The Missionary as a Brand: Think of yourself as a brand. Potential donors are looking for legitimacy, so let’s make sure our work is something they would want to invest in and that we’re connected with a reputable organization. Building a strong personal brand can build trust and credibility with potential supporters.

Strategies for Financial Stability

Let’s get practical. Here are some strategies to bring more financial stability into our missionary lives:

  1. Implementing a Reliable Donation Management System: Get yourself a solid system for receiving donations. It’s a game-changer! DonorGive is a great example. What should you look for? Make sure the system is easy to use, supports monthly donations, provides regular direct deposits, and offers robust reporting. A reliable system can help streamline your financial processes and improve donor experience.
  2. Secondary Income Streams: Don’t put all your financial eggs in one basket. Consider generating secondary income streams. Teach piano lessons, do online tutoring, or offer counseling services. It’s not a lack of faith; even the apostle Paul made tents as he traveled. What are you great at that you love and that others might be willing to pay you for? Diversifying your income can provide a safety net during lean times.
  3. Financial Planning and Investment: Trust in God, and also make plans for the future. Talk to a financial planner and set clear goals. Organizations like Modern Day Missions offer investment plans to help secure your financial future. Having a financial plan can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus more on your mission work.

Building Consistency and Trust

Lastly, let’s talk about building consistency and trust in our financial support:

  • Consistent Communication: Share your story, communicate your needs, and invite people to join your mission. People are more likely to give when they feel connected and informed. Regular updates can keep supporters engaged and motivated to continue their contributions.
  • Professional and Legitimate Donation Systems: Ensure your donation system is professional and legitimate. Potential donors want to be sure that their support is being used effectively and transparently. Transparency in your financial practices can build long-term trust with your donor base.

Being a missionary is an incredible journey, but it does come with its share of financial stress. We believe God wants to help you live in financial freedom––blessed to be a blessing! By embracing mindset shifts and practical strategies, you can reduce that stress and build a more secure financial foundation for your family and your ministry. Remember, you’re not alone in this, and there’s a whole support network out there ready to help you on your way. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to grow in your support raising, check out this great article based on an interview we did with the author of The God Ask, Steve Shadrach.

We believe in you! “Loved ones, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.” -3 John 2 (TLV).

Watch the full interview here:

Strategies to Reduce the Financial Stress of Living off Missions Support with Elias Reyes

 

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