Sharpen Your Axe by ert634


									                                                                        Monday Minute

                                                                               P.O.Box 462192
                                                                       Garland, TX 75046-2192

Sharpen Your Axe                                                          Phone: 214-703-0505
                                                                             Cell: 903 926-2607

Here’s what I have for you:

              Abraham Lincoln once said, "Give me six hours to
              chop down a tree and I will spend the first four
              sharpening the axe."

              Very often, I'm asked whether it really matters if a
              ministry goes through the time and
              e ffort to cultivate donors - on the
              donor's timetable - rather than just
asking for the gift because you need it.

The fundamental question seems to be;
"Shouldn't we just ask them to give and if they
do, that would indicate they were interested?"

In Lincoln's quote, he's saying that to do a really efficient job of
cutting down the tree, he wants his axe to be as sharp as it can be,
thereby minimizing the effort to cut the tree down.

Implied here is the thought that without sharpening the axe, he will
still get the tree down, but with more work.

We can continue to send newsletters and special appeals to our
largest direct mail donors, highlighting the virtues of our work, but
for really "major" gifts to be made, someone has to shepherd that
donor through the ministry and look for places and points
where they light up. Without those "interest points" no major
gifts will come.
Here’s what it will do for you:

What you should be focusing on are donors who enthusiastically
make gifts that are transformational. This transformation
happens in the life of the donor and in your ministry and comes
when individuals commit resources at a level that goes beyond
impersonal direct mail capabilities. It requires a personal touch.

Fundamentally, it's a question of which work should be done in
order to get the best result. In Lincoln's case, the effort to sharpen
the axe is less than the unnecessary effort of chopping with a dull

In our case, getting to know your donors as people plays the
part of sharpening the relationship axe and makes asking for
the major gift more efficient. Let me show you what I mean.

Most of us have been responsible for gathering financial resources
so that Gods work can go forward. History and fundraising studies
continue to indicate that ministry changing gifts come from donors
who have been cultivated over a period of time.

These people have been allowed to peek behind the curtain of the
ministry and see what is really going on. When they "get it" and
want more of it to happen they invest in the planned outcome your
strategic plan and case for support present.

Unfortunately this process takes time. It takes time for the donor to
learn about the ministry and the people you serve, and time to
determine whether this is a cause that connects with their mission
in life. At its core, that is what your role is as professional
development staff and ministry leaders.

But unlike Lincoln's tree which will eventually come down, you
probably won't get these types of gifts very often without
sharpening your axe. People who make these types of gifts don't
do it because you have a need. They do it because they believe
you are really good at meeting needs. That's a huge difference.

You will have to take the time to develop clear processes for telling
the story of God at work through your ministry, and then work a
systematic process for cultivating these potential donors to
determine whether God is asking them to participate with you in
new ways.

So, ask yourself whether your message is focused on your needs
or is it focused on impacting more lives for Christ? Hopefully it
is the latter so that more donor- investors join the work.

Taking the time to craft that message and let the relationship
building process work itself out is the "sharpening your axe" bit.

Here’s what I want you to do:

Learn More About Strategic Planning . . .

What is Strategic Planning?

       strategic plan: decisions and actions that shape and guide
an organization while emphasizing the future implications of
present decisions. This plan usually employs the S.W.O.T. analysis.
       ............. The NSFRE Fund-raising Dictionary

  The Strategic Plan is the foundation that you build your entire
ministry on.

Simply stated, Strategic Planning is a management tool to help
your ministry do a better job of serving the people God calls
you to serve. Strategic Planning can help a ministry focus its
vision and priorities, and ensure that the Board, Executive Team
and Staff are all working toward a common goal.

Several key concepts related to Strategic Planning include:

  • Mission, Vision & Values - Why on earth are you on earth?

  • What you do -What exactly do you do, why and for whom?

  • What’s the difference you make - What difference do you
make and how do you know?

  • Where are you going? - Where are you going with this
  • What Resources? - What resources do you have and how do
you plan to use them?

  • Our Trust in God - How much do we trust God to lead and

  • How well we communicate - How will we communicate these
ideas to our constituents?

You can see from this list that it is the same as a business plan,
only with more meaning. You have eternal value and reward at
stake. How you run this ministry reflects on your understanding of
Scripture and your Organizational "spiritual maturity."

Source: Sharpen Your Axe Dan Mirgon CFRE, CLU, ChFC


Let’s reduce Strategic planning now into an action script you can
you when speaking, writing or communicating with your clients,
donors or staff. These three simplistic sentences will change your
world! These are the same three sentences John Carlton has used
to sell millions of dollars. Many of today’s major internet marketers
have learned the lesson of these three sentences. They are
profoundly simply yet extremely effective. They are the very things I
have used in this message.

1. Here’s what I have for you.

2. Here’s what it will do for you.

3. Here’s what I want you to do.

Follow this three step plan in any form of communication and watch
the results.
Look how I used it to bring you to the point of downloading this

Here’s what I have for you:
How to sharpen you axe so that you can better communicate,
achieve higher results with less work

Here’s what it will do for you:
It will give you the keys to effective strategic planning and effective
communication that will transform your center’s communication

Here’s is what I want you to do:
Get the free pdf transcript of this program right now.
So you can share it with others. download it here:

You see, the three steps make communications easy and direct.
No fluff. No padding with extra words. Straight and extremely
simple but profoundly effective. It worked to bring you to this
presentation and it will work for you too.

Be sure to tell your friends and fellow directors about the Monday

And be sure your center is listed on the all new

Dan Mirgon, CFRE, CLU, ChFC, President

Dan is a specialist at discovering the heart of the donor
and linking their interests with your ministry. He has been
instrumental in helping ministries raise over $100,000,000
since 1991. In addition, DMA has built relationships with experienced
ministry experts who bring a wealth of knowledge and
passion to serving our clients.
Visit his website:
This FREE REPORT has been provided to you by THE MONDAY MINUTE!

A free coaching support service of
Visit to access the new resources, files, tools, applications and
services that await you.
Visit to learn about our professional center director coaching

Ken Freeman
An outreach of Coach Me Ken
An ministry of Last Harvest Ministries Inc.
P.O. BOX 462192
Garland TX 75046-2192
Telephone: 214-703-0505
Email: if you have a question about this report . Ask about
how our coaching support can enhance your center management.

To top