Inspiring Generosity


IPM: Raise Excitement (and $$$)

Do I really need to know what IPM stands for? Yes, you do. Fran @ Pixabay

I love it when an acronym can help me easily recall facts (not fake facts, real facts…you remember them, right?). For instance, those Great Lakes can be remembered by simply thinking “HOMES.” Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior…HOMES, get it?! Test me. I know what “HOMES” stands for. I get excited about the weirdest things.
So, you can imagine my exhilaration when I read Gail Perry’s latest blog on a simple way to recall what’s important when you make an “ask” for money.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…


-  Impact: When you’re asking people to give to a specific project or campaign, they want to know how their offering is going to make a difference. How will the world be different because of a single donation? This isn’t really about how your church or non-profit will change the world, it’s about how the person who is giving their money will change the world. It’s a subtle shift in language – a shift in language that you can read about here.
-  Project: People like to give to a concrete project. It feels a lot less amorphous that giving to a general budget. When I’m writing grants, I will highlight one program (rather than three or four) and make a specific request. It makes it tangible and far more understandable.
-  Money: Like the project, people want to know how much money needs to be raised. People often like to step up to the plate to fund projects that are near and dear to their hearts. If they don’t know how much needs to be raised, they may give you far less than you need or that they are capable of giving.
Here’s a good case study:
Imagine No Malaria (INM – another great acronym!). I had the chance to talk with Julia Frisbie, the former INM Field Coordinator for the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area to get my “facts” right. We talked through INM and how it related to IPM.
Impact: The impact – the ultimate goal – of INM is to eradicate that dreaded disease in Africa. That’s impact. It’s easily understood. It got people excited.
Project: To eradicate malaria takes bed nets, spraying to kill mosquitos, and water and bush management. There also needs to be a way treat those who already have malaria. And, training health workers and volunteers is critical to success.
Money: The United Methodist Church set an audacious goal of raising $75 million by General Conference 2016. They didn’t quite reach that goal but they did raise an impressive $69 million (and counting). In the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area (Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Alaska), the goal was to raise $1,000,000. It raised $1.2 million. That’s awesome.
Want to see the “Impact Overview” of the Imagine No Malaria campaign and feel inspired? Check out this Infographic.
Imagine No Malaria clearly laid out what they wanted to achieve in impact through a project with a specific financial goal. It doesn’t take too much imagination to break down your own program budget and do some specific funding around it. Think about how excited people get about a youth program, children’s Sunday school, and the choir. Consider all your outside-the-church-walls ministries too: your food bank ministry, backpack lunch programs, homeless outreach – these are all things people want to be a part of and fund.
I.P.M. Impact, Project, Money. Don’t forget those three letters and what they stand for. It could fire you and your congregation up to do even greater things to make a difference in the world. And that’s a fact.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She hopes you can provide her help remembering phone numbers. Hmmm…that’s what cell phones are for, right? Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.