The World Needs Fully Funded Laborers

June 18, 2013 — 4 Comments

This is the first in a series of posts on Raising Support in ministry.

A little personal background:

I am not a natural support raiser – I’m not an extroverted networker.

This spring we needed to take 10 weeks off campus to work on raising support and, to be honest, I was dreading the experience. We have been on staff with Cru for 15 years and after our initial support raising, the most we had ever raised was $1000/mo (in a summer). This spring we needed to raise $4,000 in monthly support and I thought it would never happen. Yet God has provided in amazing ways and I have learned a lot along the way.

In the next few posts I would love to share some great resources and insights from this experience of raising support.


Steve Shadrach is a leading expert on support raising. He just released a new book on support raising The God Ask – endorsed by Ellis Goldstein (Cru’s Guru of Support Raising) among many others. Cru Staff- I have a hunch we’ll get a free copy at Staff Conference. I’d recommend following Steve’s organization: Support Raising Solutions on Twitter.


harvestSteve gave a talk at Urbana on 5 Essential Keys to Fully Fund Your Ministry I’d highly recommend to anyone who raises support.


Great insights from the talk:

  • The biggest need of the world is laborers (the harvest is plentiful, the workers are few…)
  • The biggest obstacle = support (thousands want to do full time ministry but don’t/won’t raise support)


  • We need to move from budget driven to vision driven…
  • Most people in ministry make decisions based on “how much will it cost” instead of “will it further the spread of the gospel?” or “will it help my family flourish as I spread the gospel?”
  • We don’t want the epitaph on our generation to read: “we kept overhead low”
  • We want to change the world
  • Aside: see this fascinating TED Talk for a totally different (secular), yet likeminded, viewpoint- Too many nonprofits are rewarded for how little they spend – not for what they get done.


  • The average time for people to get to full support (across all ministries):
    • 18-23 months
  • We challenge people to get to 100% in 100 days


  • As we’ve trained 7500 people from 500 organizations in raising support, we’ve observed these Stats on Support Raising Methods:
    • For a Small Group ask or just sending a letter/email – 10% will respond (support you)
    • Letters/Emails followed up with phone calls – 25% will respond
    • Face to Face appointments – 50% will respond


Tomorrow I’ll share my personal stats and insights from 10 weeks of raising support.


photo courtesy of h.koppdelaney


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