Q And A With Mike Whitney
Q. Mike, as a leader in the Collegiate Mission, you decided to help staff in your region succeed in funding. How did this come about?
A. Early in ministry, I found it helpful to meet with fellow fundraisers on nights reserved for making funding phone calls. Being together allowed us to talk through struggles, pray together, rally courage to pick up the phone, and be accountable for making calls during the evening. I personally experienced the benefits of “togetherness” in funding and knew I wanted to help others in the same way. I simply decided to be intentional in talking about funding with staff I now help lead.
Q. What’s the secret to helping others succeed?
A. Really, I don’t consider coaching to be one of my strengths. But, I’ve collected ideas and strategies from people who areeffective coaches and have implemented some of them. I think talking with staff consistently about funding is a significant component in “successful” coaching. And I recognize I can’t do everything myself, so I also enlist the help of others to keep momentum strong. This past summer, I delegated weekly coaching calls to one of our Nav Reps, and I called in from time to time to be an encouragement.
“Mike's weekly funding ‘Check-in’ calls kept me motivated throughout the summer to work hard at funding so I would always have exciting stories to share with my fellow Navigators about God's provision during the week."
–Adam Gordon, EDGE/NavFusion, NY
Q. You mentioned weekly calls. How do these go?
A. In 2011, I started weekly, 30-minute “Funding Check-in Calls.” Everyone who is raising funds in our region would call into a teleconference number. Each person would spend one-two minutes giving a personal update. Then we’d report how many funding appointments we’d had since the last call, how many we had scheduled for the current week, what our funding goal was, and how we were doing against that goal. We’d then share a practical tip (e.g., what to do if you reach an answering machine when making calls) and an inspirational verse or thought. Finally, I’d pray to bless the team, then we’d all “hit the phones” for two hours.
Q. What results do you see from your coaching efforts?
A. Many staff in our region serve with EDGE Corps. They’re required to have 75% of their full support by campus launch to be allowed on campus. For the last two summers, staff who joined the weekly calls met their goal and were on campus by the launch. Those who didn’t join the call weren’t fully funded on time. I’m pretty sure I see a correlation there!
Some of our staff have astounding accounts of God’s provision that came in the two hours of calling after one of our weekly “Check-in” calls. (You’ll hear some of those stories soon.) It’s possible that if the staff had not been on the “Check-in” call, he may not have called his giving friend that night—or ever—and been the recipient of God’s provision in that way. I think the calls keep staff motivated, encouraged, and accountable!
Note to supervisors: You could do something like this in your region. Consider giving it a try!
Note to staff: If your supervisor hasn’t implemented an accountability/encouragement group in your area, ask if you could help out by organizing one and getting it off the ground. Your supervisor just may need to know you’d find this kind of group helpful or might really appreciate the administrative support.
Contact Mike Whitney via email at MWhi503202@aol.com or a member of the MPD team firstname.lastname@example.org.