Circle of Influence Strategy (For YFC Staff)

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1 Circle of Influence Strategy (For YFC Staff)

2 Table of Contents Introduction 2 Circle of Influence Cycle 4 Quick Facts COI Introduction 8 Find, Win, Keep, Lift 9 Appendix A: Core Giving Resources 11 Appendix B: Introduction Letter Sample 12 Appendix C: Letter Writing Guidelines 13 Appendix D: Biblical Foundations 14 Development Core Giving 1

3 Introduction One of YFC s unique advantages is the Circle of Influence engagement strategy. We define a staff member s network of friends, family, and partnering organizations as his or her Circle of Influence (COI). The personal relationship between a staff member and his or her COI fosters a meaningful connection to our mission. We firmly believe personalization is key in providing a wide network of prayer support, volunteerism, and resourcing. Every staff member and missionary in the YFC family is a critical player as they relate to their Circle of Influence network. The YFC Circle of Influence Strategy relates to everyone on the YFC team. Staff play a variety of roles in accomplishing effective Circle of Influence (COI) engagement. YFC utilizes a team approach, elevating collaboration to ensure COI partners engage in our mission. As you embrace your role in COI process, consider the following: God fuels our effort. Isaiah the prophet said it best in Isaiah 7:9 If you don t stand firm in your faith, you won t stand at all. This is critical in our fundraising journey. We believe God is working through our efforts. Partnering with our Circle of Influence is an enterprise that requires faith. If we fail to realize God s role in partnership development, we will fail. Likewise, we will miss God s blessing. Developing partnership, for both YFC staff / missionaries and the Circle of Influence, is a faith journey where everyone is invited into God s work. If we seek to coerce or force partnership, we fail. If we use gimmicks, we fail. If we stand firm in our faith, we thrive! YFC utilizes a scalable, team approach to partnership development. Everyone at YFC is commissioned to encourage partnership, but our roles vary. Departments collaborate to make COI engagement scalable and effective. Scalable means we seek to develop a model that works for staff who are heavily invested in supporting YFC ministry. Supporting departments, like the development, donor process, and marketing teams, work to ensure YFC staff have great resources and are optimized towards the best and highest use of their time in COI engagement process. If we desire to reach a million kids, we must develop a strong, scalable Circle of Influence system that allows for rapid growth and significant personalization. Personal engagement is a core best practice. We seek to help YFC staff prioritize personal engagement over and above administrative fundraising tasks. Within the donor engagement process, personally engaging a COI is the best and highest use of time for staff and missionaries. The YFC Circle of Influence giving strategy will constantly be evaluated based on the amount of time invested by staff and missionaries in personal engagement activities. Development Core Giving 2

4 We are committed to funding the mission of YFC. On the spectrum of missionary funding vs. funding the mission, we are committed to funding the mission. We fully recognize that funding the mission means taking care of personnel, ministry costs, and all operational needs. We also recognize that donors are often personally connected to a specific staff member or missionary. To fund both our YFC staff/ missionary needs and expand the ministry, we must think in terms of mission. We will seek, through our COI strategy, to direct donors towards the greater mission of YFC. We will ask God to make a way through the Sea. God loves it when we trust Him. When Moses stood on the edge of the Red Sea with the people of Israel, while Pharaoh s army rushed in for the kill, God had a plan. (See Exodus 14) When He split the sea apart, making safe escape for Israel, the Lord did what only He could do. The result was Israel s awareness of God faithfulness. We expect nothing less with our partnership efforts at YFC. God calls us to the edge of the sea, and we need Him to show up, doing something that only He can do. The result will be a story that elevates God and demonstrates His glory. Our YFC partnership engagement is faith journey with God. Development Core Giving 3

5 Circle of Influence Cycle Everyone plays a role in the Circle of Influence cycle. The below diagram outlines the way we envision a healthy core giving process. Building a Circle of Influence Every YFC staff member has a Circle of Influence (COI). The first step in the core giving cycle is onboarding a new staff member s Circle of Influence contacts into the YFC core giving system. The following steps are involved in the onboarding process: Youth For Christ provides a comprehensive fundraising guide designed for staff partnership training. This guide, the YFC Support Raising Ministry Workbook, is available in digital format at yf.cx/fundraise. Upon official start date for a new staff member, Shared Services assigns a Donor ID# for new National Service Center (NSC) staff members and establishes new staff members with Giving Fuel account. Development Core Giving 4

6 New NSC staff are introduced to This includes instructions for building a COI list using a provided Excel template with instructions (see tab #1 of Excel template for details). Once completed, new NSC member sends list to The list is reviewed and uploaded into Salesforce Data Base. New YFC staff are instructed to reach out to every member within their prospective COI list to gain permission to send YFC communication. In addition to gaining permission, making this personal contact will assist in gathering important information for COI list accuracy mailing address, address, phone #, permission to send s, etc. A new NSC member is introduced to letters.yfc.net. This department provides templates for letter production, along with supporting collateral prayer cards, brochures, etc. Your First Letter Initially, new NSC staff work with an assigned Circle of Influence advisor in the development of an introductory letter. This letter will serve to explain the new staff member s role at YFC. The letter prioritizes introducing the Circle of Influence to the mission of YFC. Letter guidelines can be viewed at (see Appendix B for a sample introductory letter and Appendix C for letter guidelines.) Introductory letters are accompanied by a YFC Master Booklet, which provides and overview of the YFC USA mission. To view an example, visit this link -- New staff use letters.yfc.net to submit their introductory letter. The Letter Department at the National Service Center (NSC) will review the letter and prepare layouts for both print and digital audiences. The Addresses department at the NSC provides the COI mailing lists to merge with print and digital versions of the introductory letter. Ongoing COI Letter Communication Once a NSC staff COI receive the introductory letter and Master Booklet, the following month the staff member s list is on-boarded to the YFC monthly letter program. See details below: The YFC monthly letter program is a coordinated strategy, where both the development and marketing departments map out monthly themes for COI communication. Letter content is based off YFC Stories posted at Everything ties into a coordinated monthly theme YFC Stories, COI letters, social media, etc. Through monthly COI letters, the intent is to consistently communicate Jesus transformative work in young people s lives through the ministries of YFC. Participating in the program means a staff member s COI network is automatically receives great letter content monthly. For some ministry-specific staff, there might be a month (or multiple months) where there is a departmental desire to highlight specific ministry themes/ stories. In this program, Development Core Giving 5

7 departments can elect to develop a ministry-specific letter, strategically for the designated month (or months). Department leaders will determine months when ministry specific letters are produced. Ministry specific letters are planned annually and submitted through letters.yfc.net. In addition to monthly YFC story themes, special campaigns are scheduled in the annual schedule. Year-end Christmas campaigns are an example of this type of campaign. Specific campaigns may have an option for personalizing content. YFC staff receive specific instructions/ deadlines from the marketing and development teams when special campaigns are initiated. Regarding monthly communication, staff have the opportunity to view letter content being sent on their behalf. Once monthly letters are developed and approved by development and marketing teams, letters.yfc.net will initiate delivery of both print and digital communications on a monthly basis. Personal Engagement with Your Circle of Influence The monthly letter production system is highly automated and efficient to produce consistent and excellent communication to Circles of Influence networks. Yet, good communication alone does not ensure strong COI engagement. Personally interacting with COI donors and prospective donors is crucial and essential. Fundraising best practices consistently highlight that donors will generously give when personally engaged by the ministry or nonprofit organization. YFC is committed to spiritually investing in and shepherding our donors. While staff participate in a letter program that requires minimal involvement and ensures strong monthly YFC communication, staff are held accountable to personally engage their COI, especially active donors. We are committed to strategically planning See the Story events that personally introduce the YFC movement to Circle of Influence networks. We host physical See the Story events at ministry sites. In the near future a virtual See the Story event is in the planning stage, which will allow increased opportunity for YFC staff to introduce the movement. As donations come into YFC through COI networks, they are tied to specific YFC staff donor ID #s. Staff are notified when donations come into YFC via online payment. In order the see all monthly donations (both credit card and check transactions), staff should regularly check their My Donations page which can be accessed at Staff should respond personally to thank donors for specific gifts. A variety of responses are employed by staff thank you notes, phone, appointments, s, texts, personal visits, etc. The goal is to thank a donor within 24 hours of being notified that a donation has been made. Donor engagement by NSC staff will be tracked. Personal engagement behaviors will be part of annual employee evaluation. Development Core Giving 6

8 Growing your COI Mailing List YFC staff are responsible for continually growing their COI network. YFC desires a deep and wide base of prayer partners. Second, growing a COI list means creating more opportunity for donors to engage YFC through volunteering and giving. Additional volunteers and increased resourcing results in more lost kids encountering the Gospel. Adding names to one s COI is easy. ing YFC staff can quickly add a name to their COI list. Additions will be included in monthly core giving communication. The following information is required to add a COI: Salutation (Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc.) First Name Last Name Spouse Salutation (Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc.) Spouse First Name Spouse Last Name Address Mobile Phone # Home Phone # Work Phone # Street Address City State Zip Code Opt-in: Y/N Updating COI Profiles As staff and affiliates personally engage their COI network, changes in COI addresses and contact details will emerge. Staff and affiliates will report changes to Development Core Giving 7

9 Quick Facts COI Introduction STEP #1 BUILD YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE MAILING LIST VISIT TO DOWNLOAD THE MAILING LIST TEMPLATE FIND INSTRUCTIONS ON UPLOADING YOUR LIST CONTACT THOSE YOU WISH TO ADD TO YOUR MAILING LIST AND GET THEIR APPROVAL TO JOIN THE LIST. GAIN PERMISSION TO OPT IN CONTACTS FOR LETTERS STEP #2 WRITE YOUR INTRODUCTION LETTER WRITE A WORD INTRODUCTION LETTER, WHICH WILL BE INCLUDED WITH A YFC MASTER BOOKLET SEE USE THE WRITERS GUIDE FOR SUGGESTIONS ON WRITING A GREAT LETTER -- MAKE SURE YOUR INTRODUCTION LETTER INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING: O BRIEF OVERVIEW AS TO YOUR ROLE WITH YFC O HOW PEOPLE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU PRAY GIVE VOLUNTEER SUBMIT YOUR INTRODUCTORY LETTER AT STEP # 3 JOIN THE YFC USA LETTER PROGRAM MONTHLY, LETTERS WILL BE SENT OUT TO YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE YOU WILL RECEIVE A COPY OF THE LETTER CONTENT TO FULLY INFORM YOU ON WHAT YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE IS RECEIVING. STEP #4 PERSONALLY ENGAGE YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE REGULARLY PRAY FOR THOSE ON YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE LIST. ON A MONTHLY BASIS, SEEK TO REACH OUT WEEKLY TO TWO PEOPLE ON YOUR LIST BY CALLING, TEXTING, ING, NOTES, OR APPOINTMENTS. AS AVAILABLE, INVITE YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE CONTACTS TO ATTEND A SEE THE STORY EVENT. (THESE EVENTS WILL BE ADVERTISED THROUGH THE NSC SERVICE.) CHECK YOUR YFC IMPACT GIVING PAGE WEEKLY TO SEE WHO FROM YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE IS GIVING. SEEK TO PERSONALLY THANK ALL GIVERS WITHIN 48 HOURS OF GIFT NOTIFICATION. STEP #5 ADD NEW CONTACTS TO YOU CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE MAILING LIST TO ADD OR UPDATE COI CONTACTS. Development Core Giving 8

10 Find, Win, Keep, Lift The ongoing and regular process of engagement between staff and their Circle of Influence network is essential. The Find, Win, Keep, Lift strategy is an energizing and God-driven way to shepherd COI partners towards deeper commitment to the mission of YFC. Find, Win, Keep, Lift is also a spiritual formation process. People in the COI network are invited into a deeper walk with Jesus as they engage YFC. Reasoning for the Find, Win, Keep, Lift approach: In today s competitive environment, it is not unusual to lose 10% to 40% of COI partner income in a year. This occurs when little or no attention is given to donor engagement. Simply sending monthly letter communication is not enough. Personal engagement keeps donors involved and interested in what God is doing. By maintaining the Find, Win, Keep, Lift, staff members maintain strong meaningful relationships with our COI network. In brief summary, Find, Win, Keep, Lift is understood as follows: Find - The process of acquiring new COI to the YFC movement. Win - Leading new COI prospects into donors. Keep Leading one-time COI donors into regular, periodic givers. Lift Regular COI donors increase their giving and become stronger advocates/ champions for YFC. Find, Win, Keep, Lift provides guidance in the process of relating to each unique individual, family, organization on a staff member s COI list. Key Questions For each stage of Find, Win, Keep, Lif there are specific questions that help with Circle of Influence engagement. Find Who would be interested in my involvement with ministry with YFC? How can I invite them to take the first step towards receiving communication from YFC? What are my next steps to invite this person to join my Circle of Influence? How can I pray for and spiritually encourage donors in the Find category? Win How will I communicate with my COI to invite them to give towards the mission of YFC? What steps will I take when someone on my COI gives for the first time? How will I thank my COI first-time donors? What is my specific plan? Development Core Giving 9

11 How can I pray for and spiritually encourage donors in the Win category? Keep How will I invite COI donors into a regular monthly contribution plan? What tools will help to invite COI donors into regular contribution patterns? What is the regular contribution patterns for each of my COI donors who give regularly? (monthly, quarterly, annually, year-end, project driven giving, etc.) How will I thank and personally engage my Keep COI regular contributors? What is my specific plan? How can I pray for and spiritually encourage donors in the Keep category? Lift How can I identify COI donors that wish to give larger gifts to YFC? How can the development team partner with me in cultivating next steps with key prospective donors? What are the regular contribution patterns for each of my COI major donors? (monthly, quarterly, annually, year-end, project driven giving, etc.) How will I thank and personally engage my Lift COI regular contributors? What is my specific plan? How can I pray for and spiritually encourage donors in the Lift category? Development Core Giving 10

12 Appendix A: Core Giving Resources YFC Support Raising Ministry Workbook The God Ask, by Steve Shadrach 8 Benefits of Fully Engaged Donors Find, Win, Keep, Lift Development Tool Personal Engagement 7 Touch Plan Development Core Giving 11

13 Appendix B: Introduction Letter Sample Click Here for a high resolution copy. Development Core Giving 12

14 Appendix C: Letter Writing Guidelines Development Core Giving 13

15 Appendix D: Biblical Foundations for Circle of Influence Development God owns it all We believe that God owns everything, and that people serve as stewards of God s resources (Psalms 24:1;1 Chronicles 29:10-20). Development is Ministry We believe that development work is ministry focused on encouraging people to participate in God s work (Philippians 1:3-6; Proverbs 29:18). Prayer is Critical We believe that prayer serves as the channel through which we make our needs known to God and seek guidance for our development work with partners in God s work (Psalm 17:6; Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 6:9-13; John 15:16; Philippians 4:6-7). Spiritual Growth for Partners is the GOAL We believe that our efforts result in spiritual growth and financial giving as we challenge people to deploy all they are and all they have to accomplish God s work (Psalm 49; 2 Corinthians 9:8; 1 Peter 4:10-11). Kingdom Benefits for the Partner We believe that encouraging faithful stewardship prepares Christians to hear Well done! from God and to reap eternal rewards (Philippians 4:17; Revelation 22:12). There is a clear 3-STORY construct in Biblical based development We believe that building God-honoring relationships requires learning peoples stories, sharing our story, and discerning how we will collaborate in God s greater story of spiritual awakening among youth. (Malachi 4:5-6; Galatians 2:8-10). Pre-Christians should absolutely be engaged We believe that our ministry impacts followers of Jesus Christ, as well as those outside the Christian community of faith (Exodus 25:1-2; Nehemiah 2:1-9; Galatians 6:10). Development Core Giving 14

16 Development is an Honorable and Worthy Vocation/Profession We believe that God s servants should receive fair wages (I Corinthians 9:14; I Timothy 5:17-18). Time Priorities are about ministry impact NOT human value or worth We believe that every giver matters to God, regardless of their level of giving. They should be thanked sincerely and in a timely manner, without showing favoritism. This thinking does not conflict with the fact that development staff may prioritize time with key ministry partners (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 8:1-3; Titus 3:12-15; Philippians 4:10-20; James 2:1-9). Serve and Honor the Lord, NOT Man We believe that our work ethic, strategies, and tactics must focus on pleasing God, not man. We must direct all praise to God for the fruit that comes from our faithful work in the ministry of development (Colossians 3:23; 2 Corinthians 8-9). Development Core Giving 15

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