I, like you, get a lot of email and occasionally I’ll get an email asking for financial support of some kind.
For starters, I completely ignore
randos — folks who send me a canned email about something I’m not remotely interested in and where we have zero relationship history or equity.
I usually send these types to
spam as quickly as I possibly can.
The other types that I get are from folks who have engaged with me and where we’ve established some sort of communication history but where we haven’t really built up any real, functional relationship — these are slightly harder to manage because it forces me to spend time thinking through the history of dialogue and where our exclusively-digital relationship really stands.
I don’t take too much time with it though and on a recent request I decided to provide a little more explanation of
why I didn’t feel like it made sense to move forward with support; this person will now serve as a canonical blog post for others!
As you can see, we began an email chain in October of 2014 — it’s been a little bit of time!
We chatted back and forth over the years, perhaps one email a year or something like that.
Then, last month, they hit me up with a financial support email for some ministry / mission work — here’s my response:
Thankfully, he took it well, but sadly this is more rare than common.
Ultimately, the folks who my wife and I choose to support are folks who we’ve built up a long-standing relationship with and a pattern has emerged where we always support folks who we’ve met in-person a number of times — I’m not sure why this is, but, it’s just our way of doing things. 🤷🏻♂️
You’ll notice that there isn’t a particular niche, vertical, market, or “type” of thing that we support — it’s a completely relationship-driven exercise and workflow, if that makes sense. If we fall in love with the person then their interest and passion is secondary.
A great example of this is a friend who is a photographer — they needed some financial help a few years back to subsidize their travel and expenses for a photographic mission trip (they were taking photos for a non-profit pro-bono). That was a super-easy call to make.
So, that’s how it works.
I, like you, willingly support people that I love and this necessarily requires that we have a really real relationship. The realest of reals.