Cultural Adjustment Map Applied to Fund Development

This is the sixth post in my series reflecting on ONS. For more posts in this series, check out the series frontpage: InterVarsity's Orientation for New Staff  

Tony Gatewood, a chapter planter from Iowa, gave a great challenge to our new Staff today.

"Step out of your comfort zones"

And one way he challenged them to step out was to apply their cross-cultural ministry skills to their practice of fund development.

Our students get trained in cross-cultural ministry. Missions, evangelism ... heck ... life in ivory towers requires a great deal of cross-cultural competency. So we train and train and train.

One of the main tools we use is shown in the picture below:

The famous Cultural Adjustment Map
This tool is called the "Cultural Adjustment Map." People often refer to it as the entry-posture diagram because it show how your "entry-posture" to a cross-cultural situation deeply influences your results.

Come into a situation that causes you to experience dissonance and crisis and the way you respond will reflect the set of assumptions you bring to the experience.

Start with trust and crises will produce empathy.
Start with suspicion and crises will produce isolation.

We can't always control how we enter situations. Some of us come from justifiably suspicious backgrounds. But what little God does put under our control can make a big difference.

One example that was mentioned today ...

Imagine the "crisis" of presenting your ministry to a potential donor and having them immediately start talking about another ministry that does work similar to yours. If you enter the situation with trust and openness, you can see this as an opportunity to connect more deeply with the potential donor, as a way they're trying to connect with you. If you enter the situation with fear or superiority, however, you might walk away discouraged or start speaking poorly about that other ministry (which never helps anyone).

Just as fund development sharpens our skill for ministry, the ministry training we've already received can help us with our ministry of fund development. We just need to look for it.

Have you ever experienced a time when you saw that your approach impacted your response to a crisis?

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