Karl Meisterheim is a problem solver focused on using technology to advance Kingdom work. He works as a consultant and is the founder of SupportGoal. He spent several years working in an partner-supported position and then transitioned into the marketplace. But while he was in that position, he saw the need for something like SupportGoal.
Name + Contact Info
Where and what people do you primarily serve?
I serve missionaries and ministries locally (Ohio) and online
How do you serve those people?
By providing expertise and software tools to help with fundraising
When did you begin to realize that you had a heart for missions or ministry?
As a college student I was involved with a local campus focused church. The experience of ministering to my fellow students through leading bible studies and sharing the gospel awakened a desire to make my life about ministry.
How and when did God lead you to this? How did you recognize His call?
From a vocational standpoint I felt a leading through several circumstances about two years after college. I was working full time as a computer programmer while still involved in the local church and college ministry. God used a couple of books and some physical limitations to gently prod me into taking a step of faith by leaving my job and going on staff with the church.
Did you have a clear and measurable goal for ministry?
My goal was to pursue being a pastor of a local church while focusing on ministering to college students
What would you do differently if you were starting today?
I would have been smarter about how I went about fundraising and developing not just ministry partners but champions – people who share the vision for what we are doing and are working to live it out in their own context.
How do you connect with new partners or supporters and stay connected with your existing partners?
While I'm no longer support-based, I stayed connect by faithfully sending out a monthly newsletter and setting aside time during the year to catch up with partners by phone or when visiting my home church.
What books, tools, or resources that are important to doing what you do?
I'm biased but I believe SupportGoal is a great tool 🙂 I think that Support Raising Solutions and the book ‘The God Ask‘ are also helpful resources
How do you get ongoing training and coaching?
Currently by engaging with other missionaries to hear about their experiences and by participating locally with my chapter of the Mission Increase Foundation which is a ministry that helps ministries (with fundraising, board governance, communication etc.)
What first steps or training would you recommend that others just starting out?
Get connected to other fundraisers – there's a wide disparity among the quality and content of training that people receive regarding fundraising. The more you learn from others the better equipped you'll be to improve and excel at the work you're doing.
What is a critical mindset or perspective regarding listening, teachability, flexibility, grace, etc?
Humility is key – never assuming that you know the best way or that just because someone is coming from a position of less experience or success that they don't have something to offer. In addition, measuring and assessing performance so that you can make meaningful changes in the quest to improve the way that you work and fundraise. If something isn't working – fix it!
Knowing what you know now, would you do it all again?
Yes – but with a better attitude!