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(S) Dennis - Interview Notes

Thought about becoming a missionary at some point vs marketplace
Enjoy supporting missionaries — financially or in prayer
Have a few missionary friends — always inspired by what they’re willing to sacrifice to do God’s work
Now head of product at E-motive - series B - text message marketing — macro economic - affecting
Tell us about a recent experience supporting missions…
Have a couple - Paul and Shannon missionaries in China
They were having hard times in China, some tiems they couldn’t stay in the country, able to come back to the US more often than they epxected to, got to see them and get updates
Would be huge to see real time how theyre doing when they’re in China, comms, be in touch know
Went to same church in SoCal
They asked for support and a few people decided
They send newsletter update once a quarter, there sporadic — will write a whole piece with one picture — PDF file
Other ways to keep in touch, when they come back, will visit scmall group?

How do you keep track of the missionaries you support?
More transactional when they come back and ask, will put an offering
Would love to support missionary and get onboarding
Currently supporting 1 active. All the others were more
One time gifts — at church, they’ll share at the pulpit and put in an offering, that’s it; on prayer list for a couple, would have to write

Supporter

General:
What’s your one off or monthly support ratio?
What does a typical day look like for you?
What apps or websites do you use on a daily basis? Why?
Messengers: different groups with family members
Founded a business fraternity in college
Some are on Facebook messenger
Uses instagram and facebook — silent scroller
How do you engage with the posts that you see? Just view things. In small groups,
When does a group get too big where you stop posting — when there are more than 10 people — why? It gets noisy and overwhelming, and I don’t want to add to that noise.

What’s your experience with ministry and missions?
Been to Mexico to help with construction — had to fundraise from the church, it was a day trip
Supporting missionaries
General
What are the ways you current support missionaries or missions orgs?
What do you like about how you currently support missions?
Believe in what they’re doing — Paul is a PhD in linguistics, was working on translating Bibles in certain dialects in China — knowing that they’re doing meaningful work, getting updates is helpful

What has been frustrating in your experience supporting missions?
Sometimes they can go dark, you don’t know how things are going or how you could be praying for them
How social media works today, would like it to more real time or interactive
Whether in the form of a group chat or DMs or see posts or photo
Do you know nay of their other
Collectively support or communicate? through meila
What products or tools do you use to facilitate support? e.g. banking app to transfer funds, email/social media to read about their updates, phone call to check in on them
What do you like or dislike about these products or tools?
Have you paid for any of these products or tools?
Discovery
How do you find missionaries/missions orgs to support?
Church
What makes you decide to support them?
Because they know them and there’s a relationship
Often, the ones upon request — when they share what they go on mission
Have you given to everyone that has asked?
For the ones you didn’t give to, what was the thought process? — not explicit, more when they can communicate well and effectively, more confidence in what they can achieve
Clarity and coherence on why they’re going, story behind it, why their heart is tugged int that way
Support
How do you stay updated on their activities?
What makes you decide to continue supporting them?
Ending support
What makes you decide to end support? Has there been a time when you decided to stop supporting?
What does ending support currently look like?
Often supported upon
Has there been a time when you gave without someone ask
What do you like about the group chat experience?
Created group chats for each kid — post specific
works well - record keeping how how they’re growing up — intention and purpose for that group chat
impetus and feedback loop — what’s compelling you to come back to do it? You know the guardrails of what that thing is for —
why is it important to have a history/update — are you expecting engagement and discussion? Or is it the act of posting
where is your dopamine coming from?
as family, they interact, it’s nice to have different family members put in photos so they don’t lose track of it
What do you dislike about the group chat experience?
When it gets too noisy: overwhelming amount of texts in a short amount of time
When discussions deviates from intention and purpose?
Will lose track of things when it gets to be too much — disconnect from tech
Go back to a time when you didn’t give — have they approached you directly and you didn’t or it was just from the pulpit?
What are the things you’re thinking when deciding whether to give or not?
A lot of times, would hear game plan, e.g. go to Japan to teach English. The goal is to live among locals and evangelize — that’s helpful
When there isn’t a clear game plan, when it sounds like they’re just going to live in a country — fear that funds wouldn’t be used effectively
Converted from prayer support to financial support? No, often the missionary come to church, out of sight, out of mind —
If their call to action were - “follow my journey” - would you be willing to follow if they didn’t have a game plan? — yes, much lighter call to action — see progress updates and might give
An update that would make him want to give:

Something he enjoyed from worldvision: kid he was sponsoring would draw and write letters, get a photo every so often
Why?
Put picture in wallet just to
Visual artifact is helpful
Enjoy supporting missioanrires → tried looking for missionries to support?
Haven’t actively looked
Wouldn’t know where to look
If I find a directory with a bunch of names, would be overwhelming, don’t see self clicking through every profile
So much of missionary support is hearing their story in different format — instinctual decision
Quick and easy call to action
Journey: one time CTA or
Do you feel like I’m not doing it, I might do it one time, go to recurring — or skip straight to recurring?
Most churches don’t give option to give in a recurring manner in Dennis’ experience
If can maintain relationship with a missionary, want to be ongoing support for them until they decide they’re done then automatically
Global support — if they’re a missionary in the US, it’s just call of a Christian to evangelize
Instinctually, wouldn’t follow or support US-based missionaries
In navigators, had full time staff that was targeting/serving students
When Dennis was in navigators, as members would support navigators
How did you stop supporting Navigators
was a poor college kid, didn’t think to give until there was a reason to
When you were evaluating whether to go into missions field
How big of a consideration was issue of fundraising? What were other limitations
Dennis’s main factor: his parents aren’t Christian, being Christian and tithing never made sense to them
When Dennis went to intervarsity, was trying to figure out what was God’s will for his life
Decided to give management consulting path one more shot, if can land it, then go with it. If can’t land it, answer is clear. Got an internship. Also considered peace corp - build local business to self fund and operate through that
Paul and Shannon - almost had a business plan going to China, create travel agency to convince travelers to their town, needed something to get htem to kickstart
Dennis is business oriented, like to have a plan, build something that can become
Would rather give to something that’s more self sustainable?
It’s a hard path when can’t create alternative income stream
Part of it is that there isn’t any technology to stay connected with missionaries — out of sight, out of mind
When lose touch with missionaries, don’t know where that money went, don’t know whether the money given affected change/have impact
Want to be good stewards of finances
Conviction
Wanted group chat
Kept coming back to out of sight and out of mind
pictures, regularity, stay top of mind
engagement was secondary
there seems to be a lack of information coming from m
Surprising
intentionality and record keeping
Need to get clear on the persona of the supporter — I’m not part of the persona. He’s closer to the persona — will forget if he doesn’t see it, have a heart to give more but doesn’t know more people to give to — never got the invitation to monthly. Or invitation was made but they lacked competence
Even if he saw transformation but it was local in the US vs abroad, would not give
Upside, best case on the product, people are giving more locally
For adoption, focus on overseas giving vs US givers
Tim: primary persona: US missionaries abroad — we’re fighting a different bias
Right now, primary bias: we don’t hear from them enough so we don’t give. If we hear from them more
If we focus on people in the US — if you saw them more often, would you give? No. We’re not equipped to handing able nature of missions or giving, but to handle lack of information density.
There may be subtle things to encounter, so be clear about the bias, who are the people we’re reaching. It might affect things
We dogfood it first. We’re the missionaries using the app
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