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Potential in the Middle

1 week ago By Kristin Hammett

Whether it is middle school, middle age, or the middle of the year, the middle of anything indicates something critical: potential. The middle suggests something is not finished. It is continuing along the path. Unfortunately, in donor development, the “middle” donors are often forgotten. While mid-level donors may not represent a big segment of a ministry’s database, although sometimes they do, they do present an opportunity for relationship, engagement, and growth. Who are they? The definition of a mid-level donor may vary, but it is safe to say that these donors do not make the major donor list but give…

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Ministry

Pocket Tools and Purpose

1 month ago By Kristin Hammett

Dr. Bruce Wilkinson and his wife Darlene were looking for a way to give more freely to those in need. 1 Timothy 6:18, “ready to give, willing to share” was the catalyst for them as they developed the “God pocket” concept. They committed an amount of money, put it in their pocket, and waited for a “nudge” from God to give to someone in need. This commitment in advance gave them the freedom to act. “When God signals, we can respond…” he says. In his book, The God Pocket, Dr. Wilkinson explains the concept is simple: [God] owns it. You carry it.”  That is really what…

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Ministry

COVID-19: Next Steps for Christian Higher Education

2 months ago By The Signatry

This article was written by David Dockery, President of the IACE, and published on The Signatry’s site with permission. David S. Dockery serves as President of the International Alliance for Christian Education as well as Theologian-in-Residence at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served as president at Union University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. ————- From this point forward, institutional histories will be written in terms of pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19. We now clearly find ourselves in one of those defining historical moments, representing a genuine paradigmatic shift in the world of Christian higher education as we have known it. The…

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Ministry

Engaging Major Donors Amid Crisis

2 months ago By Kristin Hammett

If your inbox is like mine, it is full of subject lines like “Surviving COVID-19”, “Leadership in Crisis” and “Connecting in the Age of Social Distancing”. It is true; we are all looking for answers to our current circumstances. There is no guide or playbook with the answers.   Or is there?  Clearly, we are facing obstacles and uncertainty. However, our goal is what matters. Is it just to get through it, or is the goal to be stronger on the other side?   In Joshua 3, the Israelites faced the Jordan River standing between them and the Promised Land. I think we can…

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Ministry

How Do You Measure Your Ministry’s Impact?

3 months ago By Kristin Hammett

Donors and stakeholders of any organization want to know their investment is reaping a harvest. In order to demonstrate success, your ministry must use a variety of metrics to show its impact. With so many different key performance indications (KPIs) available to you, what is the best way to communicate the impact of your ministry to stakeholders? Here is my recommendation: begin at the end. One year from now, what story do you want to tell? If you are writing your annual report, or you are on the phone with a major donor, what numbers indicate results? Be sure you…

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Ministry

Four Keys to a Development Culture

4 months ago By Kristin Hammett

Over the past month, I have had several interactions with many service providers – a contractor, a design firm, two hospitals, several physician offices, a specialty retailer, and the list goes on. Suffice it to say, it has been a busy month. Almost immediately, after interacting with one of these businesses, I get a feel for its culture. I can sense whether they value teamwork, communication, and coordination, or if there is a bit of a siloed mentality, departmentalized thinking, and less fluid communication. These elements of culture have a way of overflowing into all aspects of business. What does…

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Ministry

Four Ways to Clarify Your Message

5 months ago By Kristin Hammett

The number of nonprofits has more than doubled since 2002. When you take into account the stagnant giving and impact of the 2017 tax law, we find ourselves in an increasingly crowded pool of charitable organizations. Not only do donors receive twice as many requests from nonprofits, but between social media and the constant bombardment of advertisements and commercials, donors face an increasing amount of excess noise. So how do you set yourself apart? How can you cut through the noise and ensure donors are hearing and fully grasping your message? Clarify your message. I think one of my biggest…

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Ministry

Finish Strong

7 months ago By Kristin Hammett

We have just celebrated Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday takes place in just a few days, and Christmas and New Years are right around the corner. This is a busy time of year. In addition to the holiday celebrations, I know you are hard at work engaging with donors and making those last few touchpoints. As you wrap up your year-end efforts, I want to offer you some encouragement. Do not grow weary in doing good. This is a critical time of year for your ministry but also a beautiful time to truly minister to donors and invite them into God’s call.…

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