Generous Matters

“I learned what I must have forgotten somewhere in my busy, well-planned, and very ‘useful’ life. I learned that everything that is, is freely given by the God of love. All is grace. Light and water, shelter and food, work and free time, children, parents and grandparents, birth and death — it is all given to us. Why? So that we can say gracias, thanks: thanks to God, thanks to each other, thanks to all and everyone.”

Christine Pohl,  Associate Provost and Professor of Church in Society at Asbury Theological Seminary, fromLiving Into Community: Celebrating Practices That Sustain Us

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Fundraising as Ministry: Vision, Invitation and Conversion

Ms. Annie Allen, A national minister for the Communities of Shalom at Drew University Theological School, wrote a succinct and very insightful article for the Black Catholic Newsletter for the National Black Catholic Congress entitled, Fundraising as Ministry: Vision, Invitation and Conversion. I appreciated Ms. Allen’s explanation of the relationship between vision, invitation, and conversion in this context. Click here to read the article.

The so-called 10 laws of fundraising remain important reminders and guidelines for all of us engaged in this important ministry. Despite all the changes that have and continue to develop in technology, social media, and electronic communication, it’s good to know that these principles remain unchanged.

Generous Matters

While cleaning out a file cabinet that hasn’t been touched for several years, I came across “The Ten Immutable Laws of the (Fundraising) Universe,” dated 2003. Scanning the list, I’m reminded that the more things change in our world, the more they stay the same.

In his preface to the 10 laws, author Carl Richardson describes the universe of fundraising as “guided by certain provable statements. Tested by experience, observation, and results, these laws of fundraising determine to a large extend the success of our efforts.”

Technology may have opened grand new horizons for fundraising programs, but there’s much to said for the time-proven wisdom of years past, including the following 10 laws (bold face, Richardson; plain face, me).

Law #1: No group of individuals is waiting to give (also known as the Law of the Nonexistent They). We’ve got to be out there, beating the bushes, taking…

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Understanding Fundraising as Ministry

The concept of “fundraising as ministry” is more than simply Christianizing secular practices. To me, it has more to do with how we understand the purpose or purposes of this work to which God has called us. If God has indeed called us and given us the gifts and desire to do this work–which I believe he does–then we should at least have a basic understanding of, among other things, how this important work relates to and advances God’s mission in general and the mission of the organization or cause to which God has called us.

My thinking and work in this area has been shaped by numerous individuals that I have learned from in variety of contexts and formats. However, Henri Nouwen in a 52 page booklet entitled,”The Spirituality of Fundraising,” has contributed to and helped me more than any other single source formulate an understanding of and appreciation for fundraising as ministry. The following quote from this booklet is a small sample of of what you will find within its pages:

Fund-raising is a very rich and beautiful activity. It is a confident, joyful, and hope-filled expression of ministry. In ministering to each other, each from the riches that he or she possesses, we work together for the full coming of God’s Kingdom.

To read this booklet in its entirety as a pdf document, simply click here.