When Ben and I first joined Navigator staff, we tackled our fundraising goal just like we did everything else during that season: together! We were excited about the vision God had called us to, and we couldn’t wait to raise our money and get to campus as quickly as possible.
Fast-forward ten years, and I was spending the majority of my time at home, meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of another (and then later, two) tiny human. Just as my time on campus had to look different, the way I was able to contribute to our fundraising needs also changed. Here are some practical things I did (and still do!) to be able to still partner with Ben:
1. I manage our tntMPD database. This means I update addresses, phone numbers, emails, and change names when people get married. I also make sure that each financial partner is listed correctly in the database (amount and frequency of giving). Keeping these details up to date is something I can easily do from home during naptime, and it blesses Ben not to have to think about these things. (Note: If you don’t know how to use tntMPD, I am sure there is someone near you who would love to teach you! I am always available to help too. I’m just an email, facebook message, or phone call away.)
2. Several times a month, I sync our financial gifts in tntMPD with NavCentral. New, increased, or special gifts need a thank you. I address a thank you card, and put a post-it note on the front detailing what the thank you is for. Ben will take this stack of notes with him to campus or the coffee shop, and work on writing them when he has some time. He is grateful not to have to figure out who needs to be thanked for what.
3. I also take note of lapsed donors, and make a plan of what to do. We have found that many of these situations come from expired credit cards. I will usually send a quick facebook message to let them know and ask them to contact The Navs. 95% of the time, this is all it takes, and Ben doesn’t have to worry about this task.
4. A work in progress for us is coming up with a regular schedule of donors to contact by phone or in person. We do a great job of keeping up with people by mail and online, but neither of us are great at actually picking up the phone and calling our donors to thank them and pray with and for them. At times, I have given Ben a suggested list of 3-5 donors (with phone numbers), and he has called them when he’s in the car or has a quick break. Again, it’s a great way for me to engage, and he is thankful not to have to comb through our list of donors and figure out who to call. He usually types up the notes of his calls to put in our tnt database.
5. This season of life is not a great one for all of us to go on long road trips, visiting with multiple donors each day, making new funding appointments, and staying in a new home each night. Instead, we decided to embrace the reality that it was OK for Ben to do donor visits and fundraising on his own for a little while. Now that our kids are getting bigger, it’s realistic for us to join in occasionally again. It was helpful for us to acknowledge that our situation had changed since we starting our fundraising journey, and it was OK for it to look different.
Many of us may joke that fundraising is our “least favorite part” of ministry (or maybe it’s not a joke at all!). I know none of us decided to go into full-time ministry solely to find ministry partners. But I do think it’s a great privilege to watch how God raises up friends who are excited about the ministry He is doing through us on campus. I’m grateful to have found ways to continue to partner with my husband in this adventure, even as I am staying closer to home in these days of young kids.
Melissa and her husband Ben have been on staff with the Navs for 14 years, and married for 17. They have two children in elementary school. The Nugents recently moved to Kansas City after 9 years in Florida, and are looking forward to introducing their kids to sledding and snow days!
If you have any comments or questions about this post please email Melissa at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What about you? What does fundraising look like for you now that you have littles?