Posted by: naccm | October 28, 2009

1 Key to Raising Support :: Knaw at the Right Door

This is the first of many  lessons that I’ve learned both as a marketing consultant and the primary fundraiser for a campus ministry.   Some of these lessons I’m learning again as I’ve teamed together with others recently to start a new organization that we hope will work closely with many campus ministries and Christian colleges in our country.

Success in fund raising is largely determined by your ability to ask questions and organize information that can help you work more effectively and effectively. To be effective fund raisers we have to make asking questions a part of our routine.

Often we march on in a meeting with a missions team with our mouths in the transmit mode.  We can often confuse activity as an effective way to raise money.  Being busy may not accomplish anything for us. Get in the habit of not confusing activity with results.  In the sales world, we call this unproductive activity “knawing at the wrong pantry door.”  I want to give you some front-doors-00questions that you can ask to prevent you from spending time knawing at the wrong doors.

Before we drop into the transmit mode and think we need to impress our audience with statistics or testimonials let’s ask questions that qualify them as someone who can help our ministry.

The first question you should ask is, “Who is the decision maker in your organization?” Sometimes people want to think they are decision makers when really they aren’t.   This question will save you a lot of time. It’s OK to spend time with people to build relationships for the future, but spend too much time with people who aren’t decision makers and your knawing is only going to produce a big pile of wood chips.

A second good question, “Do you or your church have the budget to add a ministry such as ours to those that you support?”  In most cases there is not a budget, so your next question should go something like this, “Can you tell me how we can be included in your future mission’s budget?

My personal favorite questions areHow is a decision made in your organization?” and “Can you tell me what that looks like?”

one_finger_350oAnother good question when used at the right time isCan you tell me what I need to do in order to be successful in getting this organization to partner with us financially?


What one thing would you recommend to me that I do in order to get your organization to partner with us?

People will often give you clear instructions on what you need to do.  Just ask them for their help.

And don’t forget to always ask the question at the end of any meeting…”Since you’ve heard what our ministry is about, can you think of any others leaders or organizations that need to hear this message because they may be interested in partnering with our ministry?

Contacting an organization with a referral gives you a 14 times greater likelihood for success.  Remember to always ask this important question.

Remember we are commanded to ask.  Ask and you will find the answers that will help increase your organization’s finances.  You’ll save time and lead a more effective and efficient ministry.

a project exMike Wesner is the founder of ProjectEx, a ministry that prepares high school students for campus ministry and the college campus.  With  over ten years experience in campus ministry as a student, board member, and staff member, today Mike leads a regional communications company that helps colleges with enrollment marketing.  The ProjectEx conference annually leads students through a high energy week of spiritual discovery and preparation.

You can e-mail him  at



  1. Mike, thanks for this post. GREAT questions to ask, together with Bill’s stuff, these are some great things to help us expand our donor base!

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