Yesterday we looked at a series of questions I would consider to be fundamental when seeking to work in partnership with voluntary groups, mission teams, and individual donors. Today, I would like to reverse the questions. So, if you are an individual seeking to support a work like ours (or any work for that matter), part of a mission team or church group, or even an individual donor/volunteer, then the following questions might be helpful for you to be asking those you are going to be serving.
1. Will my investment make any real difference to the lives of the people you are claiming to be reaching? How will I know? How are you tracking and logging real change?
2. Am I really helping, or am I just doing this to make myself feel better? In other words, is what I am doing helping me or the people it’s really meant to?
3. Will it be a personally meaningful experience? Will my heart, as well as my wallet and time, be touched by what is being done? It needs to be about more than just something I can show off to my friends about.
4. Does the ministry I am supporting really get to the root causes? Is what I am supporting really nothing more than a superficial plaster over a gaping wound, or is it trying for deep surgery?
5. Will you value my time? Will we be instructed clearly in what the ministry is about, how to go about it better, and be able to offer constructive feedback where we see weaknesses? Will my time be used efficiently so I don’t feel like I am just ‘killing time’?
6. Do you want my money or do you really want me involved? Do you really want my help for your ministry, or are you just trying to tap me up for more money? Will you treat me like a bank and keep me in the loop only when the reserves dry up? Will you keep me up to date and up to speed with how my investment is doing and exactly how it is being used in a beneficial way?
7. Is your ministry cost effective? Do you get good value for money in whatever you’re investing it in? How do you gauge this?
8. Are you open to changing things if I offer better alternatives? Can you handle my insights and seek to implement them for the good of everybody?
9. Will you deal with me responsibly and follow through on your commitments? Will you return my calls, letters, and/or emails promptly and send me requested information without delay? Will you be upfront about what I can expect from you and vice-versa?
10. Will I get regular feedback on how things are going? Will you keep me regularly posted on how the ministry is proceeding?