Vulnerability with Partners

Making oneself vulnerable has a certain cleansing quality — the feeling of “I have nothing to hide” is very freeing. You’ll often get a warm response from donors when you’ve made yourself vulnerable, and that’s enriching too. One of our clients tended to be quite closed in discussing his emotions; he was extremely reluctant to reveal anything of the sort to his donors. But there was a program produced by his ministry which was particularly close to his heart — a program designed to help underprivileged children in very practical ways. The ministry leader grieved, literally, over his ability to fund the program fully. But year after year, the donors failed to respond. Finally, he agreed to bare his soul. In a letter to donors, he admitted how deeply he was hurting about his failure to raise the money needed. He didn’t whine; he just expressed the truth about the frustration and pain he was feeling — in the context of the children’s need. The results were powerful. Donors responded to his willingness to disclose his own pain. They gave generously. The program’s funding increased dramatically. Vulnerability made the difference.

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, The Seven Deadly Diseases of Ministry Marketing: Confessions of a Christian Fundraiser.

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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