Our practical guide to help you raise money for a YWAM Discipleship Training School
TRUST GOD & FIND PEACE
God sees every bill, every deadline and will provide for our needs. We can overcome anxiety about finances by filling our minds with biblical truth.
Our first task when raising money is to trust God as our provider and seek Him for a strategy. Sometimes we view our wealthy aunt, our church or summer job as the solution to our financial needs. God might use these things to provide but He could also have a different plan. The important part is to ask God and obey His direction.
Philippians 4:18–19: “At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 121: “I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber….The Lord himself watches over you…. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”
BUILD FRIENDSHIPS NOT A BUSINESS
Our supporters spend hours of their week working for finances which they generously share with us. They deserve real friendship. Their support check is not a business transaction; they are co-laborers in the Gospel with you.
Keep them updated, pray for God to bless them, and ask for updates on their life. The deeper the friendships become, the more fun support raising becomes!
Jesus and his disciples lived this way.
Luke 8:1–3: “Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God….Among them were….Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.”
MEET IN PERSON, TALK ON THE PHONE, SEND AN EMAIL
People are more likely to donate if you meet in person, share your story and ask them to financially support you.
Having a conversation on the phone is the second best option. Personal emails and text messages also work well.
What doesn’t work very well? Mass emails and social media posts.
If you want to raise money, you have to ask people personally. How many times have you donated to something without a personal invitation?
DO THE HARD WORK
1. Create a list of names.
Open Google Sheets or Excel and start writing down a list of everyone you know. Literally everyone. Teachers, your dentist, school friends, family and all your parent’s friends. For each person, gather their email address and phone number.
You want to get at least 200 names.
2. Order the list and start with the easiest people to ask.
In another column, rank each person with a 1, 2 or 3. The 1’s are easy to ask. The 3’s feel a little more awkward. When you start messaging people, start with the 1’s.
3. Send a short message and ask if people want to hear about your need.
Here’s an example of something you could send to start the conversation. If they agree, take them to coffee, set up a phone call or send them an email.
“Hey Johnny, how are you? Have you heard of YWAM? It’s a missions organization I just signed up for. I’ve got a pretty wild 6 months ahead of me. Would you be interested in hearing about what I’m doing and the support I’ll need?”
3. Prepare your story and “the ask.”
Sit down and write. You need to articulate why people should donate to you. After writing an “ask email” you’ll be prepared for your conversations and emails.
Here are some tips:
Think about your audience. Connect with what they are most passionate about. For example, if you’re asking your grandma, you want to talk about how much DTS will impact your life. But when you’re talking to your church, you want to focus on how DTS gives you the opportunity to share the gospel.
Make it clear you’re going to ask for finances. This helps them get in the right mental space. Near the beginning of your email include something like this, “Thanks for letting me write, I am building a team of supporters for YWAM and I thought this might be something you’d like to invest in. So let me start by telling you the story!”
Sharing a few facts about YWAM will build your credibility. For example, YWAM is one of the largest missions organizations in the world. And we have YWAM workers in almost every nation.
Talk about how you will serve others and change lives. Grandma will donate because DTS will change your life. But most people want to invest their money in someone who is impacting other people’s lives. You’re going to spend three months in the nations, share the love of Jesus, healing the sick and setting people free from their bondage. This is a cause anyone can get behind.
Make a clear ask and then stop talking and let them respond. After you’ve shared your heart, present your financial need and say something like this, “To join YWAM I need to raise $9,000. I am wondering if you’d be interested in donating towards this.” Then just be quiet and let them answer!
Be ready when they ask “how do I give?” After you are accepted to DTS you will most likely receive payment information that you can share with your donors. Make it clear to them how to give and you may want to add that the donation is not tax-deductible because you are in a school. Don’t worry; once you’re on staff, every donation is tax-deductible.
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
Life is busy, people forget. Don’t say “no” for people. Keep following up until they give you their “no.” It generally takes three follow up emails after an ask to get an answer from people. (Another reason why meeting in person is better!)
Here’s an example follow up email: “Hey Johnny, just following up to see if you had a chance to think about my support email. Let me know, thanks!”
KEEP PEOPLE UPDATED
Your supporters deserve a return on their investment. They want to know what happened with the money they invested in you.
When you write an update ask yourself this question, “Why would my supporters want to read this? What do they get out of it?” Here are some good examples and bad examples.
Bad Example (because it’s all about you)
Hey guys, DTS is awesome! I am making so many friends. After class this week, our whole room went to the beach. We each shared our stories and got really connected. The teaching this week was life changing, I got so much revelation about Jesus. I’m having a great time, thanks again for helping me get here!
Good Example (because it’s all about your supporters)
Hey, here’s a link to my favorite DTS teaching I heard this week. I think you’ll really enjoy it. The revelation about God’s love felt life changing to me. I love being here at YWAM. Our school is full of students from around the world. I was shocked to learn how powerfully God is moving in so many countries. It has built my faith. Thank you for investing in this work we’re doing at YWAM. God is moving in the nations!