Support Raising

Support Raising Philosophy: Japan 2022

Click here for a downloadable copy of this document.

Click below for some sample support letters that you can modify for yourself? (MS Word Docs).


Philosophy:

The first thing to ask yourself is how might I need to change my view of support raising?

Support Raising is not:

  1. Getting people to help you pay for something you can’t afford.
  2. Begging

Support Raising is:

  1. Providing potential supporters an opportunity to serve God.
  2. Allowing people a chance to be involved in reaching the lost.
  3. A way to challenge people in their mission thinking.
  4. A blessing for people to be able to give and help others (Luke 6:38, Mal 3:10, Phil 4:17-20).
  5. An opportunity for you to see God provide and care for you.
  6. A way to challenge people in their giving.

As Christians, we have a need to give, to be involved in good things.  We don’t want to be left out of something exciting or meaningful.  Many Christians would love to be directly involved in world missions but are unable to travel.  Many do not have the opportunity or availability to go themselves.  Supporting a mission trip enables them to be directly involved in reaching and ministering to people around the world without ever leaving home.

Support Raising IS a biblical concept:

  1. Numbers 18:21 and Chapter 35 point out the Israelites responsibility to use their tithes to fund the work of the Levites.
  2. Leviticus 27:30, Malachi 3:10 reiterate the Old Testament mandate setting aside one-tenth of all Israel’s wealth for the Lord’s work.
  3. Philippians 4 – the church supported Paul financially.
  4. II Corinthians 8 & 9 teaches that those who do the Lord’s work should be provided for financially. (Verse 9:8 “have all you need”).
  5. Job 41:11 Everything already belongs to God.

*Remember, people are more willing to give than we are to ask!!!  God will richly bless their giving.  It is for their benefit as well as yours.  Don’t deny them the opportunity to be involved!!

Support letter:

  1. First explain the opportunity that you have.  Give specifics on what you will be doing and what you hope to see happen.  Give them a vision for the trip.  They need to see your heart.
  2. Explain that you want to give them the opportunity to be a part of this mission trip.  It is through teamwork that the gospel is shared with the world.  We can’t do it alone; It’s through the body of Christ.  Ask them to pray for you and give them specifics on how to pray for you (safety, boldness, strength, whatever you need most).
  3. Be specific about what/how much you need (the trip cost).
  4. Ask them for a specific amount. Remember to boldly ask knowing that people want to give more than you want to ask.  “Would you be able to give a gift of $20, $50, $100, $200 or more?”  People need to know what you expect of them.
  5. Explain that their gift will make a difference.
  6. Be sure to tell them how to respond. This should be in every letter:
    1. “You may donate online through the Seven Rivers website Japan page:  https://www.sevenrivers.org/japan or make your check payable to Seven Rivers Church and return the check to Seven Rivers.  Be sure my name and mission trip are noted in the memo line of the check or the ‘who is this payment for’ section of the online payment form.”
  7. Also: This should be in every letter.
    1. If for any reason I am unable to attend or the trip is cancelled due to covid or some other unforeseen event, your tax-deductible donation will be used to help other team members or to hire/pay for in-country Japanese nationals who will need to be recruited to do the work we were going to do. 
  8. Enclose with your letter an addressed return envelope to make it easier for them to respond.
  • It is also a good idea to make a little prayer card to include so that people can hang it on their refrigerator and be reminded to pray for you. 

Who to send to:

God already has people prepared.  Believe it or not, they are waiting for you to ask them.

  1. Don’t say “no” for people.  You’ll find the most unlikely people give the most.
  2. Brainstorm on a list.  Think of Christians that you know in all areas of your life.  Consider non-Christians too.  Sometimes a trip like this is enough to get a conversation started about their spiritual life. 
  3. Colleagues
  4. Clubs         (don’t forget your kid’s sports groups also)
  5. Parents of your kid’s friends
  6. School acquaintances (PTA, carpool, old college friends)
  7. Friends in others cities and states
  8. Friends from previous churches you have attended
  9. Business associates
  10. Professionals
  11. Extended family
  12. Former employers or customers
  13. Neighbors

It’s important to say “Thank You”:

Remember to thank those who support you.  The mission’s department will email you when a donation is generated from a letter you sent.  A simple thank you note is sufficient.  When you return, write a letter or email with pictures telling them what you were able to do on the trip that they were a part of.   Let them know of the things God accomplished on the trip that wouldn’t have happened without their generosity and the generosity of others.  Proper follow-up is crucial for them to “Be Involved” with your trip. 

Raising Support is Personal

God is faithful and will provide as needed, but we must still be obedient and diligent in our preparation. Effective support raising depends on the time and effort invested in building your support. If you contact 100 people and 10% give you $100, that’s $1,000! If you only contact 10 people, that’s only $100. Some fund-raising methods are listed here from most effective to least effective:

  • More Effective
    • Meeting one-on-one with someone in person (perhaps over coffee or a meal)
    • Meeting with someone over video chat
    • Calling someone on the phone
    • Sending someone a personal letter (yes, using snail mail) and following up in person or by phone
  • Less Effective
    • Sending someone a personal e-mail
    • Sending a mass e-mail
    • Posting on Social Media

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