Small Group Appeal: Overview and Tips
A small-group meeting or a gathering of a group of friends can be lots of fun, and it will also allow you to meet with more friends faster. The challenge is to bring closure regarding a decision to give. Groups can be anywhere from two friends to twenty, but each presentation requires similar attention to detail and preparation.
Before the Event:
-Pray and ask God to show you whom you should gather together.
-Recruit a host to help you gather a group of people you both know or a group of people your host knows who may be interested in your ministry.
-Coach your host in inviting others. He/she needs to be sure to mention M and M: “ministry” and “money” (or funding needs/goals). You can also invite your friends, but having your host help is a wonderful way to let another person “support” you! If you and your host are both inviting people to the event, be sure to compare invitation lists so you don’t both invite the same person or inadvertently overlook another person.
-Communicate with your host to work out the details of who will say what. See “How a Friend Can Help” on page 20.
-Practice your presentation.
-Pray. (Have we mentioned this before?)
During the Event:
-Be sure to meet and get briefly acquainted with each person who attends.
-Have your host introduce you.
-Follow the outline you would normally use for your giving presentation.
-One exception to your normal one-on-one presentation is the transition to the invitation for support.
-A simple way to make the transition is to have your host “give you permission” to talk about money. It could sound like this:
-“Jim, it is great to hear about your passion for ministry and the challenges you have in front of you. Tell us also about the support goals you have for the coming year and how we can consider helping.”
-Complete your presentation using the last page of the fundraising brochure. When you ask people to pray about being part of your financial support team, be sure to make eye contact with each person in the room.
-Indicate you plan to follow up with each person individually about his/her giving decision. A statement like the following may help you conclude the invitation to consider financial support:
-“Thank you for the opportunity to share what God is calling me into and how you could help. I wouldn’t ask you to make a giving decision tonight, but I do want to ask you to seek the Lord’s will. I would like to get back in touch with you in three to five days to see if you have any questions for me and to see how the Lord has led you in this decision.”
-Thank your host for arranging the gathering and thank the guests for coming.
-Talk with people individually to get better acquainted.
-Optional: give each person a small gift that will remind them your ministry or of The Navigators (e.g., a booklet, etc.).
After the Event:
-Follow up with each person to get better acquainted and to find out his/her giving decision.
-Thank your host appropriately with a handwritten thank-you note and a small appreciation gift or gift card.
-Be sure to report back to your host-friend how people have responded. You don’t need to share the details but rather the names of friends who are giving.
Action Step: List the names of people you would like to gather into a group presentation. List your friends in clusters that seem to fit together and then circle the name of a person in each group who could help you organize the meeting.