Create. Motivate. Activate.
The relationship between a leader and those who serve alongside the leader can be quite impactful, but sometimes difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to money.
Let’s face it – confronting those who choose to serve, who give of their time …to also give of their finances… is not always easy.
Today, I want to break this process down and look at applicable ways to find a happy, successful medium between you and those you serve alongside in ministry.
To solve any great mystery, we must start with basic yet great questions.
Most all ministry organizations have a board of leaders who help support, direct, and serve alongside the leader of the organization, but not all boards are created equal.
Most board members serve voluntarily, and expectations for board members’ giving truly runs the gamut.
You must know WHO is serving on your board. What are their backgrounds? What is their giving history? What is their reason for serving? How long have they actively served? What is their personal connection to the vision of your ministry? How well do they understand how donations are used? Who else gives because of their connection to these said members?
When you want donors to invest in your vision, you make a point to paint a clearly defined picture for them. Invest the same effort into getting to know the vision of your board members.
Remember, you’re not preparing to wage war or cross enemy lines. You are working to build community with board members to stand against the enemy together for His kingdom.
Community is built through relationships. Build them.
What type of board are you working with? Knowing what you’re starting with will help guide you to where you want to go.
Some boards are pastoral in nature; they view themselves as sort of the protector of the theology.
Other boards are very much what I like to refer to as “policy protectionist” – they want to lower the risks through the policies that are established and maintained.
Fiduciary-minded boards are all about financial risks and management.
Timing makes a difference. The best time to make a change in the relationship between you and your board is when there is good trust and confidence levels under the circumstances of a previous head who had a lack of vision, a lack of clarity, but was not oriented towards development or when you’re starting from scratch. The best time to start fresh is to start when you are new.
You must tell board members where to look so they know where to end up.
Connecting the dots for your board members shifts their attention back toward the vision, towards a plan, and towards funding the plan through giving.
We are asking people to do something with us, not something for us.
You must know why your vision is important, why they should partner with you. Your board is more than a group of potential donors, more than your ministry’s hands and feet – they are your ambassadors.
Many people want a giving board, but fail to see members should give for the simple reason of being invested … like any other donor … in the vision given to your ministry by God.
You, as a leader, must be the catalyst. You create a cultural shift.
As followers, we must first know our true identity in Christ before we can grow in the fruits of the Spirit.
It is vital to remember the key is to have a giving board, not to have a board giving x%.
Find the leader or leaders among the board and respectively reach out to them. Ask them to use their influence to disciple other board members in their giving participation.
You can say something like this:
“We are focused on leadership commitments and wanted to come to you, early on, to ask you to think and pray about what you are providing to critically important pieces of leadership in our ministry. To help you and your spouse in this important decision, I would like to go over giving options with you both to allow you to reach a united decision that works best for your family. I also want to ask you to help in shaping the culture of leadership at the Board level for the future.”
Likewise, just as pinpointed Board leaders are approached privately and face-to-face, set aside time to speak with individual Board members about the giving level that works best for their families, the giving level they reach in prayer with their spouse.
Board members are blessed with different talents and treasures, so it should not be expected they would give the same. However, I look forward to hearing about how this advice helps you bring them all to the table!
Before you can get people on board with your vision, you have to have a clear Strategy Statement. Download our Strategy Statement Tool to help you get clear about your strategy before approaching potential donors.