FAQ about Support Raising
- What is STPD?
- How many people support a missionary and how much do you get paid?
- What if it is taboo in my family to ask for money? How will I raise the funds without their support?
- I don’t know who I would ask to be on my support team?
- How do you juggle your time between ministry and STPD?
- How will I know how to develop a support team?
- What will I live on once my internship stipend runs out and I'm just starting the STPD process?
- I think I'm called to join CCO's staff but I just don't think I'm called to ask for money.
- What if I have student loan debt? Will I make enough money to pay it back?
- How do I save for retirement?
What is STPD?
STPD stands for “Support Team Partnership and Development”. All CCO staff have the unique opportunity and privilege to rely on God’s providence. Each individual missionary develops their own team of financial and prayer supporters who contribute directly to the funds for their salary.
However, STPD is more than just a funding model. The relationships developed through STPD opens up new doors for evangelization and spreading the good news of what God is doing in the lives of university students. When viewed in this light, STPD becomes more than just a means to an end, but in fact a unique opportunity to reach out to your family, friends, fellow parishioners, and others who are interested in partnering with you in this work.
Each CCO missionary’s individual salary is based off of 4 criteria:
1) A base salary of $30,000 per year (as of May 1st, 2010).
2) Geographic cost of living adjustment
3) Educational adjustment
4) Years of CCO experience (or other related work experience, if applicable).
A first year staff member’s salary is generally comparable to that of a first year teacher’s salary.
Each staff member generally has a team of 100-200 supporters who donate anywhere from $10-$500 per month. Each staff member will receive training, guidance and supervision as they work towards achieving their support raising goals.
STPD is a radical lifestyle of relying on God’s providence and therefore can often raise many questions and concerns from family members. This is an issue many staff and those discerning staff have and will continue to face in responding to the call to be a missionary. Ultimately, regardless of the circumstances, we need to first and foremost place our trust in God. If He is calling us to this movement, then we need to believe that He will provide everything we need. Place your trust in Him and you will not be disappointed. Know also that God will never be outdone in generosity. We have seen many examples of how an individual’s missionary call to CCO staff has resulted in conversions and changed hearts within their family.
Before rushing to the details of who might join your support team, the first question that needs to be asked is, “Do I believe God has called me to be a full-time missionary?” If the answer to this question is yes, then we need to trust that God will provide for everything we need, including a support team.
On the practical side, CCO has a training program and various materials that will help you identify strategies that will best allow you to recognize the potential in the relationships you already have and to maximize the opportunities that exist around you to develop new relationships. While there are a number of strategies related to speaking to large groups, organizations and parishes, the most effective means of support raising in CCO’s experience has always been through personal relationships.
STPD is an integral part of the ministry of each CCO missionary. Without our supporters, our evangelization is not possible. Each staff member is expected to be dedicating at least few hours every week to the growth and maintenance of their personal support team. For interns, the summer months (April to August) are dedicated to their initial STPD efforts. As one’s support team becomes more established over the course of a few years, less time is spent on large-scale efforts to seek out new support and more time is spent working with and through the current members of your support team.
CCO has an excellent STPD training program that teaches you not only how to raise funds effectively but also instils the key attitudes and mindsets that drive our paradigm of living on providence. Each staff member receives a small introduction when beginning their initial support raising. For VINE members and interns raising the supplement to their CCO stipends, this is often sufficient. For staff who are embarking on the journey of raising a full salary for the first time, STPD training time is set aside beginning in September and continues throughout the eight months of the internship program.
All interns who successfully complete the Internship Program are given a bonus stipend for the end of April and a half-stipend for the month of May to assist them financially as they begin to develop a support team.
STPD is more than just asking for money; it is an integral part of our movement. We are forced to rely on God to provide for our every need in a unique and radical way. The trust and confidence in the Lord that develops through this process form a way of life that extends to all aspects of the life of a missionary, including their home life and their ministry within the movement. This trust in providence is based in the 5th of CCO’s Five Founding Tenets: Great Expectations. This spirit of Great Expectations informs every element of our movement and inspires the hearts of our staff, and is often most acutely developed through STPD.
If you feel like you are being called to work for CCO but are not sure about the idea of support raising your own salary, here are a few questions to consider:
- Do you believe that God is trustworthy? Do you believe that if He promises something that He will deliver?
- Do you place your sense of security in your own provision for your life or in God’s provision for you?
- If God is calling you to be a missionary with CCO, do you believe that He has already prepared a support team for you?
- What are the specific barriers that are concerning you? Take them the Lord in prayer.
Many have joined CCO’s staff team with outstanding student loans and been able to pay them back. Your student loan may have a clause that qualifies it for interest relief if your salary falls below an established threshold. In this case, your loan would not continue to incur interest for a certain period of time, and some programs even allow for payments to be frozen for a period of time.
Each individual situation will of course have its own set of loan terms and other circumstances that would need to be considered. Please contact CCO’s Human Resource department to discuss your individual circumstances.
CCO places a high priority on planning for the future and saving for retirement. As a result, CCO has set up a Group RRSP Plan through a major national bank. When staff members make a minimum contribution of 5% of their gross monthly salary into their RRSP portfolio through this group plan, CCO will contribute an additional 2% of your gross monthly salary on your behalf.
If you would like more information about these or any other questions about STPD, please contact the CCO Human Resource Department at email@example.com or 613.736.1999.