And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”
QUESTION: When you present a financial need to your partnership team, do you ask for a specific amount or do you just share—or maybe even just hint—at the need and hope they catch it and give generously?
If Jesus, both omniscient and loving, knew what the blind men wanted (to gain sight), why did he ask them what they wanted?
I have learned the importance of asking specifically when presenting financial needs.
We are unexpectedly in need of a new vehicle for our family, and want to present a special giving opportunity to our partners. Because I have both a fairly large amount I am trying to raise (over $10,000) and my need is urgent (this month), I quickly prepared a Campaign to present this need to our partnership team.
I realized this was the perfect opportunity for me to use the Campaign Builder for the first time! (I have written about this many times, and taught in in classes, but this is the first time I have been able to use it for my own campaigns.)
The Campaign Builder in TNT allows me to automatically categorize a list of contacts into four specific levels based on giving history. (My list of contacts that I used was “My normal monthly newsletter list minus about 10% who I either never send appeals to, those who recently gave a special gift, and those who have reduced their monthly giving in the past year.”)
The top-level group is the highest third of giving, then the second and final third. The fourth level has no giving history so they cannot be financially categorized (but I will challenge them anyway). Statistically, this will create a pyramid because my top-third of givers is a smaller number of partners than the bottom third. (In fact, while the feature is called a “Campaign Builder”, in fund development we call it the Partner Pyramid.)
The Campaign Builder in TNT looks like this, with each level being a different colour; notice to the right of each level is the # of contacts that make up that group:
I pressed the “Build Campaign” button (not shown above) and TNT automatically (a) created the Campaign in my list of campaigns and (b) Created a set of Saved Groups for the campaign itself, with a sub-group for each level. The sub-groups were exclusive, meaning that any contact can only be in one sub-group.
I will not go into further details as I could write an entire book on the subject of assorted features related to Campaigns, Promises, and Allocations. But for this blog post, let me say these things:
- I really, honestly, used the Campaign Builder for this specific fund appeal. I’m not just giving a hypothetical example.
- After I launched the Campaign Builder, I was able to manually move some contacts up or down into different levels just for this appeal.
- After I built the campaign and had the contacts assigned to each of the four levels, I planned my fund appeal strategy for each level separately. (That is the entire idea of a Partner Pyramid: You approach each level with a different challenge).
- For my Top-level partners, I am going to call them personally and challenge them.
- For my Mid-level partners, I am challenging them for a specific amount based on their past giving. These are tiered from $150 up to about $300.
- For my Entry-level partners, I am challenging them for a range based on their giving. These vary from “$25 to $50” to “$100 to $150”.
- For my Prospects, I am challenging them for a modest suggested range ($50 or $100). If any of these give, it may the first gift they have ever given to our personal ministry.
In my next blog post I will share how I came up with the ranges to challenge for, based on each partner’s giving history and our total need.