We usually refer to our people as Ministry Partners. At the macro level we call it Ministry Partner Development (MPD) not fund-raising. For the sake of celebrating my team, I am intentionally referring to my supporters as donors in this post. “Donor” doesn’t capture all of what my ministry partners are to me, of course. Ministry partners are family. Ministry partners are friends. InterVarsity alumni. Fellow staff members. Former staff members. People whose pastor I’ve been. People I’ve supervised. My wife and my kids. All these phenomenal foundation stones are who I treasure and absolutely lean on with all my weight.
Donors are ministry partners who keep me in business. On top of all the prayers and friendship and team-work, donors give financially so that I can do ministry. Here’s a timeline of the team God has given me over the past 34 months.
Several things should jump off that chart. Finding 83 donors is no small feat! Calls. Appointments. Meals. Gallons of coffee! Asks. Requests. Proposals. Follow-up. Every staff member will tell you how rewarding and demanding being self-funded is. Thank you to everyone who has given to see that I can pursue InterVarsity’s call to the University. It wouldn’t happen without those donations month after month, year after year. Thank you for doing your part!
It also should stand out that InterVarsity staff are constantly finding donors. We enlist more and more people every year because our needs are always expanding. Some of our donors move on out of necessity or hardship in their lives. Some want to help for a season because God has blessed them in unusual ways. I remember beginning this adventure making the prediction: “I think I can find my full budget from about 65 donors.” I was almost right. But I was totally wrong. My team will ebb and flow. I’ll always need to welcome new partners.
Lastly, I do need a pay raise. My supervisor actually encourages staff to not let our pay stagnate. Personally speaking, my circumstances are pushing me harder than my boss. As a family we’ve had an expensive year (I think you know exactly what I mean). Expensive years are years when these kind of things happen:
- Your teenager shatters his arm in a skiing accident.
- Your damaged home needs a new roof, but the insurance settlement doesn’t cover all the necessary repairs.
- A random person doesn’t see the red light at an intersection and smashes your car (the settlement from their insurance is $1,000 short of the damages).
- A family member has a major medical procedure.
Pray for me as I continue my efforts at finding Ministry Partners. Especially as I look for donors. My current budget is in a pretty good place (85% funded), but in the next calendar year I need to add to my salary significantly. Thank you to those I’ve already heard back from via the response form. Several have indicated they can bump up their contributions.