Finding fundraising as ministry in Luke’s Gospel

A commentary on the Gospel of Luke wasn’t where I expected to find affirmation of a key essential of fundraising as ministry, specifically the importance of maintaining a holistic perspective on kingdom work. (I often refer to this as the no-compete clause in fundraising as ministry.) But then again, I shouldn’t have been surprised. After […]

How many fundraisers does it take to change a world?

“Here’s a development question for you,” wrote a pastor friend from Canada. “ It seems to me as if there has been an explosion of ‘development’ or ‘advancement’ positions in the nonprofit world over the past few years. Perhaps my perception is inaccurate, but if I’m correct, I wonder if this increase is making a […]

Tips for perfecting your thank you

Recent days have brought a flurry of articles through my in-box that praise the power of a simple thank you. An appreciative word is good for business, we’re told. “Thank you” leads to reciprocal generosity. It’s a tough cookie who’s immune to the motivating effects of acknowledgement and thanks, researchers report. The take-away for fundraisers? […]

10 indications your organization is healthy and doing well

Similar to Leo Tolstoy’s families, healthy organizations are all alike. Or so I’ve noticed. Mission, scope, size, or sector don’t much matter. Nonprofits that are performing well share characteristics the ailing crowd lacks.

4 strategies for turning year-end stress into fundraising success

Were T. S. Eliot a fundraiser and not a poet and assuming a June 30 fiscal year-end (the standard for North American charities), he’d likely name May and June, along with April, as the cruelest time of year. The last leg of the annual race for the gold is the most taxing, always. With the […]

The very reason for fundraising as ministry

When looking for proof texts in support of their craft, fundraisers of faith know they can depend on the Apostle Paul. The Old Testament prophets, along with the Psalmist(s), are other mother lodes of useful passages. And of course there’s Jesus. He had a lot to say on the subjects of money, possessions, and our […]

A ministry response to the challenges of nonprofit fundraising

News flash. The morale of nonprofit fundraisers in America is rock-bottom low, and for good reason. The majority of development folks toil in settings where even the most senior find it hard to flourish.  So concludes “UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising” — a joint project of CompassPoint and the Evelyn and […]

What if the board truly believed God owns the organization?

It’s been ten years and counting since the board of which I am the current chair opted for Policy Governance. And still the identity of our owner(s) eludes us. We took up the question again at a recent meeting. Comments fell along the usual lines until a board member suggested God as the owner. Silence. […]

Nonprofit leader, fundraising isn’t your board’s problem.

Just once, I’d love to pick up a report citing CEO support for boards doing what boards were created to do. That is, to govern — preferably well. Better yet, in an exemplary manner. Sadly, the 2012 Governance Survey from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability isn’t it. Despite ECFA’s valiant efforts to steer ministry […]

Re-gifting abundance

America’s nonprofits are in full ask mode as the clock runs down on 2012, and everyone, it seems, is feeling a little shaky. Nonstop talk of a looming fiscal cliff, along with hints that the charitable giving deduction could be on the chopping block, have even the most optimistic of fundraisers biting their nails. As […]