In this episode, Vance and Zoe do a deep dive on how taking 10 Silicon Valley startup principles can be equally leveraged to 10 fundraising principles that will multiply your fundraising efforts, derived from a chapter out of Vance's book "High Growth Fundraising The Silicon Valley Way".
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We always want a community where our vision exceeds our resources. That's called the generosity gap. We want a vision that completely outweighs our current resources. That is when we give our community an opportunity to partner to fill that generosity gap. Past pastor turn tech leader and a millennial churchgoer, exploring the intersection of technology, culture and faith, equipping you with innovative strategies to support you as you live out your calling leader churches with confidence to step into the future together. This is the give it up podcast. So my friend here Vance wrote a book called high growth fundraising the Silicon Valley Way your friend, thank you. No, I just said it for the podcast. We can't lie, though. No, you are my friend. But I love the book, because it's actually a really helpful tool and resource. Yes, for fundraisers across the board. We're here to help. And one of my favorite parts of the book was where you summarized 10 principles love lists that can radically transform come on listicles. I think that's a word. No, it's a big list. Yep. All right, listicles. I'll chat GPT this afterwards, whatever that is. But it's all about transforming your fundraising 10 principles that will do it. So I actually want to run through these 10 principles. In this episode. We're just getting our free content out here at the overflow pod. I know we won't have to buy the book, you're just gonna get a whole chapter right now. Let's go here to serve. Okay. So 10 principles, we're starting off with V for Vance. No, just kidding. This one's for vision. Yes, hell that is so important, right? We say this at our church, that we always want a community where our vision exceeds our resources. That's called the God gap. That's called Let's Make it really practical, the generosity gap? Yes, you want to make sure that you are communicating a vision that is compelling. So this is from the Silicon Valley tactic of even how you raise funds here on Sand Hill Road in San Francisco from some of the top venture capitalists in the world, right? VCs Actually, don't just index on the credibility of the team. That's important. But that's not the only component. They don't just index on the quality of the product that you have. That's a component. But that's not the totality of how they make a decision. One important component that they consider is what's called Tam. total addressable market. Why? Because the way the math works out for venture capitalists, is that if they invest X amount of money to get 10 to 20%, of your company, and they do that 10 times over with nine other companies, likely eight or nine of those 10 companies that they invested in, is likely going to go to zero, they're literally going to lose all of their money, right? And so what needs to happen to be able to what they call return their fund, one or two of them have to go big. Yeah, they can't be mediocre. So if they invested a million dollars, they're not looking for $2 million dollars back, they're not looking for to X. Minimum, they're probably looking for $10 million back at 10x. But what a lot of them are looking for is 100x back, right$100 million back for that $1 million investment. That is the VC game. And that's why it's very risky. But it works out mathematically because a couple of times, statistically, if they're doing their investing game, right, they are going to, quote unquote, hit it big. Right. So, you know, to oversimplify it, what does it mean to hit it big? Well, based on the way that the valuations work, provincial capitalists, whether they get it get in at a$10 million valuation, or a $20 million valuation, all of that really are just details, because what they're looking for is a 1 billion to $10 billion plus outcome. So what does that mean? Yeah, even if you have the most prolific founder, the most prolific team, the most epic product, but they don't believe that this is going to be able to be a billion dollar company, or if it's a consumer product reach 100 million people, a billion people, they literally cannot mathematically invest. Wow, okay. Why am I saying that? Because in the same way, a church obviously, we're not providing people a return on investment. Yeah, but our mindset should be, we're providing people a return on impact. Do you have a billion dollar idea? Do you have an idea of vision? Yeah, a call to arms, that is on the magnitude Have a billion dollar impact. And that doesn't necessarily need to be measured monetarily. But that can be measured in your reach and community that can be measured by your influence in a society that can be measured by ways that you want to fundamentally change and shift certain policies, and certain programs and certain ways to reach people for the gospel of Jesus. That's the realm it needs to be if you're going to truly unlock unprecedented amounts of generosity. And so that's what we say we want a vision that completely outweighs our current resources. And that is when we give our community an opportunity to partner to fill that generosity gap. I love that, would you say that vision and mission are synonyms? Are they two different? Yeah, in a lot of ways it is. I mean, you know, to delineate it, if that's helpful, a mission is kind of like your, your, your mantra, your operating principle. It is the core of why you do what you do, right. And so at overflow, our mission is simple to inspire the world to give, we're going to continue to exist as a company, as long as there's people to inspire to give of it in America, only half of Americans give $1 or more. There's so many more people to inspire, to give even $1 Yes, right. And so that's kind of our operating principle, we will continue to exist, it's, it's our mission, it's our quest, right? A vision is slightly different in the sense that you are projecting a picture for the future that you want to see. Right, and some of the most compelling visions project, a future that doesn't yet exist, that you will now need to create. Yeah. And so our vision is to build the infrastructure that makes generosity frictionless, across every major asset class, that future is not currently a present reality. And so we are continuing to execute every single day to make that future vision, a current reality. And so in a lot of ways, mission and vision work together. Obviously, the infrastructure that makes generosity, frictionless, is connected to inspiring the world to give, they go hand in hand, but they are slightly different. The vision is wanting to project a picture, a destination, you know, where are we going? And then another part of that mix, right is the culture. I think people underestimate that. Yeah. And so if you have a community and your mission is to go and make disciples, okay, that'd be a good mission for a church. And your vision is to when the whole bay area or when a whole region, you know, or whatever that is, and that's the destination, you want to see Santa Fe, for Jesus, you want to see Kansas City, yeah, be be run by the ways in the principles of Jesus so that humans can flourish you, you want to see XYZ city, right? Predominantly be impacted by the message of grace and love. Right? Then, if you are projecting that as the destination, the vehicle in which you drive towards that destination is actually culture. Right? And so, you know, if your vision is to build the most generous community the world has ever seen, then you need to then build a vehicle. That is your culture, you have to build a culture of generosity. Yeah, so culture is everything from language to little things that reinforce what your values are. And so those are some of the building blocks. And all of that is connected to if you're trying to cultivate a generous community to try to achieve certain goals, really vision, but all of those other pillars around vision is very important to achieve that. Yeah, no, I love that. And the second one we talked about is timelines, which I think is so important. Nothing gets done without a deadline. Come on. That's like the the SMART acronym that we learned in like leadership classes. The M is for measurable. Yeah, that's that's actually the only part I remember from the acronym because that was the most important tangible. Yeah. So you know, the thing is that probably by August, September, you should be setting your calendar for the next year. Hmm. Next year, the next full year do you have your vision godless set? Do you have your Kingdom Builder events set? Right? Do you have these built in deadlines in your calendar? Because if you don't have those in you're not going to be keeping yourself accountable to work backwards from them right to plan it out. The reality is some times we are not getting the outcomes that we want because we are not prepared or planning for the outcomes that we need. And so ultimately, this whole idea of timeline and deadlines is making sure you schedule generosity. You create inflection points, you create seasons, you create moments, within a year to facilitate catalytic giving. You get clever about it, you understand the ebbs and flows of how your community gives, maybe not just how your community gives how people humans given general. Yeah, we know in America, a lot of people give naturally, at the end of the year, why would you not do some sort of year end giving campaign? Sure, right. We know that naturally, especially for the church space, people feel a little bit more generous are on Easter, because things are full. Attendance is up, people are getting saved, people are seeing visually the impact of the church. Why would you not provide opportunities and seasons within the spring? to catalyze giving, right and so timelines, deadlines, planning, preparation, all key to maximizing generosity. Awesome. The third one we have is impact. Explain what impact actually entails. Yeah, so, you know, charity, water really kind of pioneered this where they were able to tie your dollars or a set amount of dollars, to literally a specific Well, Compassion International has done this for decades, where they tie your $17 a month to a specific child, and that child you build a relationship with because they're literally writing you letters. Yeah. That instills recurring giving that, you know, basically minimizes what we call in the Silicon Valley churn. Right. So a lot of churches actually should probably learn from SAS companies. Because SAS companies think maniacally about things like customer acquisition cost, and net dollar retention. Okay, what do I mean by that? Well, there's a certain amount of money that and you could probably measure this for your church that it takes to convert a tie there. And I know I'm being really crass in my language about how I'm talking about church, but this is reality, that there's a certain amount of money that billboard that you bought on that highway, those Google ads, those Facebook ads that you're doing those Yelp, you know, promotions that you're doing to try to funnel in people to your church, and, you know, we flower up the language in church, or, Hey, this is our outreach budget. This is how we're reaching out to people and things like that, yes, fine. You can define it however you want. But ultimately, all of that carries a cost. And with the right data, and with the right insights, you can back into how much it costs to get a new member, and how much it costs to get a new giver. In your church. Right. Yeah. And so or for your nonprofit. So if it costs, let's say, 20 bucks, right? And a new giver, on average, is $25. Right? a month? Yeah. You have a great funnel. Absolutely. And, and so that's how I think we should, you know, start to deepen our insights, as senior church leaders as pastors as executive pastors, CFOs, it goes back to stewardship. Right, it goes back to stewardship, yes. which then brings the next point into frame and that's execution. Yeah. This is something that I feel like the church at large struggles with, and it comes back to doing what you say you're gonna do. Yeah, but what does excellent execution look like for you? Well, I think a lot of times we say, at least from the top right. We want an excellent team. Sure. We want an A team. Yeah. God deserves our excellence. Right? Which he does. But then we empower people with that vision. We empower people with that culture. But we don't have the mechanisms in in place to inspect to come around. And to actually, from the user's perspective, take inventory of if that excellence is being actually executed. Right. And so for example, when's the last time you drove in? Five minutes, 10 minutes or maybe even right on time at a service and experienced what a new guest would experience? Great boy, right? And actually, like, you know, because a lot of times, you know, if you're on a senior church leadership team, you're coming in early through the back door. through a very unique path. And when's the last time you actually went through the path where hundreds or even 1000s of people are going and just inspecting? Hey, are things being executed the way in which I want it excellently being executed? Yeah. You can apply that to every other aspect of church building, especially with your givers. Have you actually thought about how a giver is receiving communication? Have you put yourself in the giver shoes of how they got invited to a kingdom builders event? Or to a vision? God, Allah? Yeah. Does your communication how does that come off? Right? Did you just outsource a bunch of things? And you don't actually know? And then you're frustrated? Because Why is nobody signing up? For the Kingdom Builder event? Why didn't anybody show up for the vision Gala? Do you know how they were communicated to maybe there was some rogue communication that went out? And it was all well meaning, but you just didn't know that misrepresented your voice? Yeah. Yeah. And so when I talk about execution, when I talk about excellence, it's, it's a Silicon Valley principle, it's having a user mindset. It's being customer obsessed. How is the actual person that's using so at overflow, for example, we could be so focused on just wanting to cater to a lead pastor. And for some churches, that's the right person to cater to. But at the end of the day, for a lot of churches that we serve, it's actually the CFO, or the executive pastor, or a campus pastor or a finance administrator, that's actually using our product on a day to day yeah, we're building relationships with those people. We're obsessed with how they're interacting with our platform, so that we can also cater to them. Yes. I love that. And you're talking about language kind of being misrepresented when it comes to giving? Can we just speak to that for a second? What type of language is good to use when it comes to giving and communicating that? Yeah, so we do this teaching a passage is a brilliant teaching on saying thank you, and how we do that too much in the church. That thank you is actually not Kingdom language. Thank you, and especially the tone in which you say thank you, is almost as if you're drawing attention to your self like you go around every Sunday profusely thinking, thank you so much to my volunteers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We used to do these Thank you awards at our church, and we would do these epic, like quarterly. Thank you awards to the top volunteers. Guess what? After we gave them the award, we never saw them again. Huh? It's like, they were only doing this for the approval of man. Oh, wow. And then they got the recognition. And they didn't need to serve anymore. What's more Kingdom language? Actually, the Bible says, well done. good and faithful servant. Yeah. Well Done is better language. It's saying, well done recognition. But keep going. Right? Well done recognition. You're never doing this for man, you should have been doing this unto God, keep going. Right. And so that's just one example of how you should think through language, you should think through what language is in alignment to the type of community that you're trying to build. Early on in our church. We used to, because we're trying to build a church, we only had a few dozen people. We're trying to, to, you know, get as many people into the church as possible. And people would say this, especially church shoppers, they would say, We're just checking you out. And we're like in the backfield, like, Oh, you're shaking, so we need to perform. We're like clowns, trying to like, do a dance, you know. And then we just like arrested that culture. And we started posing back to people when they said, Oh, we're just checking out we say, oh, no, no, we're also checking you out. I don't know if you're gonna like it here. It's expensive to go to five. We believe in the tie. Whoa. So you know, it's like, okay, firing, you know, this is again, a really crass term, good speaking business terms, but in the business world is called firing your worst customers. Those that are just drains on the community, but don't contribute. Yeah. Wow. I love that. And you know, as I'm thinking about language, people may still have some questions like, can you just give me like a couple sentences to say, we're actually going to share more about this on our overflow insider page. So just head to overflow dot C O, like, insider live hangar? That's right. You need to be part of overflow insider zone, tell them a little bit more about what they should expect. We are actually building an epic community with overflow Insider. I mean, the thing is, the excitement just continues to build, you're going to get exclusive access to specific content that is for fundraisers CFOs. Basically, we want to make the content that you actually want, how do we do this because we give you access to have commerce Patients with Vancil ask us questions so that it's not just generic like, oh, man, I listened to this podcast and I got this tidbit. No, why get a tidbit when you can get a whole meal? And that's what overflow insider is going to be able to provide you with? Let's go. Yeah. Should we keep going? How long do we have? Okay, oh, wait, I'm going to do more than okay. What are these principles? Okay. So we're talking about giving, which then brings the next principle into frame which is recurring giving? Yes. About that. Yeah. So in the Silicon Valley, we call it especially for software as a service SaaS companies, we call it annual recurring revenue. Arr, right. And so a healthy SAS company, they are very focused on growing ARR on a month over month, year over year basis. In the same way, churches should not just be focused on the top line of givers, they should be focused on how you're converting the top line as much into recurring givers as possible, why your CFO is going to love you for this, because now you have predictability around your giving, you have predictability around budgeting, predictability around forecasting, with predictability, you can now align your tasks towards your purpose a lot better, you know, when you're going to have what money at what time to be able to do, what type of vision element to be able to extend the kingdom forward in, you know, XYZ way. And so that's why recurring revenue is so important. Arr recurring revenue recurring giving in the church base, it's eating up the world. I mean, everything that you're doing right now is attaching some sort of a subscription to it. Amazon Prime, yeah, Netflix and things like that. And we are not busy defying the church. But we are taking some of these principles that the Silicon Valley companies have been successful with to create sustainable generation defining companies. Yes. Because of the sound things that we can now leverage and learn from. And so I would be very focused. And you can use overflow for this to understand okay, not just my top line givers, but what are the different things that influence a top line giver, to then convert into recurring, yeah, that then becomes a very resilient portion of the resources coming into your organization, which then builds a very healthy church to be able to do big things. I love it. So the next one, I can't wait to hear answer because we get this question a lot. And it's people asking, How often should I be talking about giving? I don't want people to be like, help. We're desperate for money. But the next principle is cadence of communication. Yeah. Yeah, you want to again, schedule in your generosity, you want to schedule in the way you're going to communicate to your generous donors. You know, one thing that I've seen work really, really well, is that when you have an annual cadence of vision dollars, when you get to the vision gala in November, or something like that, that shouldn't be the first time you're communicating with those generous givers within the year, right? Yeah, it probably actually should just be a culmination of a bunch of strategic meetings you've had with them over the course of a year, you could do it on a quarterly basis, that's probably a good time. And then within in between quarters, maybe one high impact email, before some of those quarterly events at those quarterly events, what are you doing okay, at these quarterly events, you are bringing all your generous people together, that in and of itself is electric, to be able to get people that already bought in tithers people that have already bought into committing to giving above and beyond the tide all in just one room and like a breakfast environment, cross connecting, encouraging each other, you know, some of these people, sometimes their high capacity in their careers, they're not making it every Sunday. So this is like their one time to really cross connect and build community and make some connections. You're setting that environment, then you are celebrating everything that God's done already year to date. And then you are communicating exclusive information that the even the church hasn't heard yet. That creates a buy in and a sense of ownership that will create and cultivate more generosity. Yeah, that's excellent. And then obviously, a really powerful piece is the next principle, which is story and testimony. Yeah. I mean, especially when you get to these events. People love stats, but even more they love stories. That's why Hollywood will always have a place in being one of the most influential regions in the world because stories move people. Yes, right. And so you don't want to miss moments. Tell stories as much as you're talking about stats, you should be pairing it with a story of life transformation, literally, like, if you're the church, you're in the business of helping people going from dead to living. That's literally the business that we're in. Yeah, we're not even in the business of behavior modification or life enhancement. There's a lot of other organizations that, you know, transparently do a lot better than the church at those type of things. Yes, we're in the business of people literally being dead in their trespasses because of the wages of their sin. And now being alive in Christ. What does that look like? Hopefully, that's happening by dozens by hundreds within your community. Pick one, pick one to be able to highlight. Yeah, I think that's a great distinction. Because if we look at it through the lens of was death imminent, but then life was brought, oh, my gosh, that story is going to move 100 out of 100 times. Yep. So the next principle is brand. Yes. I mean, I would say probably 87.5% of churches, and don't quote me on this. I just made it up. But most churches, don't even probably have a Brand Book. Don't even have a basic style guide. Don't even have consistent typography that's well thought out, don't have consistent colors that they use, don't have tight guidelines around how their logo is being used and things like that, what a great first step. Okay. Why is that important? Because again, going back to excellence, there are certain people in your community that look at these details. And so when you say, hey, we want to create a YouTube channel that's going to reach, you know, millions of people, but then your brand is sloppy, hmm. That's an example of the credibility that you're building with your givers. And so these investments into these type of details actually matter? Well, okay, so we got to do the final two in two minutes as quickly as I can, for each culture of generosity, culture of generosity, that's what we're talking about, you want to create the vehicle, you want to create the, the the mechanism that gets you to that place. And so it's not only showing people impact from their giving, it's giving people a picture of their identity they're giving. And so there's going to be more episodes on this in the future. But ultimately, you want to create, whether you call it Kingdom builders, Legacy builders, Vision builders, whatever you coin it, whatever you call it, it has to then become an identity of it. It has to become something that somebody aspires to want to be. Yeah, I love that. The final 10th principle, your team, the team is so important. The team is the speed in which you're going to accomplish the vision and the culture, right. And so, at the end of the day, everything that's in your head that you want to achieve. If you're doing it on your own, you're going to struggle with actually achieving what you are projecting to achieve. You need to get the right people in the right place aligned to the right, focus. If you are going to achieve a culture of generosity, I think that's amazing. And the best part is, this is only one chapter of Vance's book, which you can buy now, wherever books are sold. And also, if you're one of the first 50 to sign up for overflow insider, you actually get this book for free. Let's go sign copy with love from Vance. All right, so we'll see you over there. Thanks so much for listening to the give it up podcast if you want to receive even more insights on church innovation, culture and giving now you can sign up for free to be an overflow insider where you'll receive exclusive content discounts direct access to Vance Roush to get your questions answered. And also invite only access to our monthly fundraising leadership forums, head to overflow.co backslash insider, or just click the link in our bio to sign up for free today. In order to get this podcast in the ears of even more church leaders. Could you please subscribe and leave a review for the show. This tells the podcast players what people are enjoying and want to hear more of and we are adamant about providing maximum value to even more church leaders. Thanks so much. We'll see you next time.