The wow of fundraising as ministry

As part of her year-long Skype-based coaching contract with me, a ministry head from California and I are reading Henri Nouwen’s beautiful little book, A Spirituality of Fundraising. We leave a few minutes at the end of each call to share phrases or ideas that caught our attention from the reading assignment du mois– a benediction of sort on our conversation.

This past month, our comments revolved around Nouwen’s assurance that “if we raise funds for the creation of a community of love, we are helping God build the kingdom.”

“What a beautiful way of thinking about the folks who support the ministry. ‘Community of love’ is much more satisfying than ‘donors’ or ‘support base.’ And fundraising as helping God build the kingdom, wow!” my long-distance friend marveled.

To which I offered a hearty amen.


In Growing Givers’ Hearts: Treating Fundraising as Ministry, Thom Jeavons and I urge Christian fundraisers to

look beyond the organization’s needs and goals to the blessings donors will experience from their generosity. They are to look at the life-enriching relationship with God that can be deepened through the practice of giving, especially when that giving takes root in and expresses a person’s faith.

In a similar vein, former president of Regent College Rod Wilson, writing in Keeping Faith in Fundraising, asks:

Would institutions be willing to re-conceptualize donors as members of the body and allow those donors to be full participants in watching for God sightings, promptings, and opportunities that flow out of that attentiveness? Rather than starting with need, we would be engaging in a spiritual process that has value in and of itself; we would be concerned for the spiritual benefits that donors would receive by their giving; and our energies would not focus on getting ‘supporters to give,’ but rather the influx of money would be a natural by-product of being a ‘member of the body.’

God sighted.
Communities of love created.
Hearts grown in generosity toward God.


For more about fundraising as ministry, see:

Finding fundraising as ministry in Luke’s Gospel

The very reason for fundraising as ministry

Listening for the gift

What's your take on this topic?

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