New Year’s Resolutions, Part II

Last week I shared about “New Year’s Resolutions” and how often these are idealistic and activity-based. For example, typical Resolutions include eating better or exercising. And it feels more achievable if we say, “I am going to go the gym three times a week.”

Of course we know that most New Year’s Resolutions last a week or less, so I have a couple of extra thoughts about how to make your “Support Raising Resolutions” stick.

The core to a successful Support Raising Resolution is the Annual Plan. Looking at a whole year really helps bring perspective.

First: Before making plans for the year, it is helpful to know where you are at. In support raising, this may include the following:

  • Knowing your realistic support goal (hopefully, based on your personal budget or ministry’s standards)
  • Knowing your solid monthly support
  • Therefore: Knowing how much you need to raise

Then: Make realistic plans for

  • Communications
  • Thanking your partners
  • Raising new support

The way TntConnect helps you in this process is primarily in helping you know what is true of your support. If you have assigned a Pledge Amount and Frequency to each partner, then the Analysis View will tell you your solid monthly support.

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If you have 45 partners and are at 90% of your support goal, then on average, each partner is 2% of your team. So theoretically, you need about 5 partners to bring you to 100%. (I do not mean to be simplistic, but sometimes simple goals are more attainable than really complex ones.)

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New Year’s Resolutions, Part I

Every year after Christmas we start hearing about “New Year’s Resolutions”. And then, of course, anyone who hears about it mentions how those are often broken within days, if not hours. How come we cannot try to do good things without everyone telling us why we will fail? Hmmm.

While regular New Year’s Resolutions are typically focused on either better eating or exercise, with support raising we can also do similar New Year’s Resolutions:

  • “This year I am going to write thank yous sooner.”
  • “I’m going to call all of my partners personally, just by calling 2 every week.” etc. etc.

Like my other resolutions, grand (and vague) wishes like that usually last a few hours. But one thing we can do that is potentially more practical (and achievable) is come up with an Annual Plan that guides our support raising efforts throughout the year. The best way [my opinion] to do this is to coe up with a written plan with real activities and real deadlines.

For example, instead of the “write 2 thank yous per week” resolution, what if you actually printed a check list with each partner’s name and a date to send the thank you? Then you can get the satisfaction of checking off the list.

There are dozens of things you could do to start off your next year well from an MPD perspective. But as you consider this, let me give one piece of advice: People first. Your partners are what keep you in the mission field. So choose activities that will tangibly connect you with your partners.

In the upcoming New Year’s Resolutions entries, I’ll give a few simple and practical tips for starting off the new year.