I opened the envelope from Alice. She wrote in response to our fund appeal:
“Sorry this comes late, I was out-of-town when this [our fund appeal] came in. Paid my bills and set other mail aside. So when I opened and read it I said ‘I can’t do this’ but then God said , ‘Yes, you can. Don’t limit Me.’ I will start sending my new monthly amount with Sept. check. And God shall meet ALL our needs !!! according to His riches!!!”
What a blessing to us, but Mike and I were also concerned for our elderly widow-friend.
Asking for an Increased Pledge During Inflation
A month earlier, I had sent out letters asking for 47 ministry partners to increase their pledges. I hesitated at first because of inflation, but sensed from the Lord that we should go ahead. I picked these particular friends because they hadn’t increased in a long time.
(I do these increase-asks every summer. I also keep track so I wait two years before I ask again.)
Within a few weeks, six friends replied that they would increase. Also, a seventh person increased (that I hadn’t asked). From past experience, I think we’ll hear from a few more before the end of the year. Currently, we’ve received $205/month in increased pledges.
All six actually increased to the exact amount I had asked in our letter! This surprised me (See NOTES).
When I wrote the letters I used this inflation calculator to determine how much to ask. I didn’t mention the calculator in our letter. Feel free to adapt the following wording of our increase ask (this is a portion of a 1.5 page letter. The rest of the letter is ministry-related):
Currently, we need an additional $1400 in monthly pledges. We appreciate your faithful gifts of $110 per month. Would you prayerfully consider increasing your donation? Your last increase was in 2005. Would you be able to pledge $160 monthly?
God has faithfully provided for our ministry expenses every year since 1975 through the generosity of friends like you. As Paul wrote to the Philippians: “. . . not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit . . . and my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:17,19)
If you would like to respond, please use the enclosed envelope and form to let us know your decision. (Please send your prayer requests, too!) We’ll turn the slip into our Donor Services department for you. Thank you for considering this request.
A Phone Call with Alice
I knew I couldn’t just send a thank you, but needed to phone Alice. We had a nice, warm chat this week for about 30 minutes.
- I thanked her for her increase.
- I commended her for trusting the Lord. We rejoiced together at what God will do to supply her needs.
- I did also let her know we are doing well and that she has the freedom to change her commitment. (I remember a time I thought I knew what God was doing and I was wrong, so I wanted to give her grace and a back door.)
- We shared our concerns and our prayer requests.
In our conversation, I mentioned to Alice that I hesitated to send out the letters.
She said, “No, of course you should. It’s a need.”
Alice was also surprised that I had calculated the amount I should ask her. She was not offended, but appreciated that I carefully considered what to ask. She did not know how long it had been since her last increase.
To God Be the Glory
We heard as well from an elderly ministry partner who has continued giving a generous amount. We didn’t know his income was cut in half more than a year ago when his wife died. Wes is on my list for the next phone call we need to make!
I know the precious people who trust God and join in your ministry are a blessing to you.
- Will you ask your partners to give?
- Do you trust God to meet your needs (and theirs) during a time of inflation?
- Will you pick up the phone as soon as possible after learning of their need?
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6:26
- One reason I was specific about the amounts for our asks is I had just finished reading Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss. I recommend this book. It’s applicable in many areas of life. Mr. Voss says amounts need to be specific. (I didn’t follow his advice exactly. I rounded my figures from the inflation calculator.)
- Photo by Yassine Khalfalli on Unsplash