Red letter money talk

Recently, I was privileged to lead a Barnabas Foundation webinar on the topic of the pastor’s role in growing generous hearts. Despite my doubt that anyone would bite, a good number of church leaders showed up to hear what I had to say. Even better, they responded with questions, comments, and illustrations from their own […]

The problem with “more money” as your final answer

It’s a delight when a big voice from the blogging world – someone smarter, more eloquent, and better known than me – says something that I’ve already said here at Generous Matters. I am gratified when an  issue I deemed important enough to write about gets wider play. And of course, there’s pleasure in knowing […]

And now for a kick in the ask

If Giving USA and other such reports are believed, this is the best of times for fundraisers and the good causes for which they work. Donors dug deep in 2015 (the most recent year for which giving numbers are available), doling out a whopping $373.25 billion to their favorite causes. Individual donors upped their gifts […]

Let’s make truth great again

We’re months away from declaring a winner in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, but I’m ready to call the loser in this latest run-up to the White House. Hands down, it is truth. Loyalists to HIM or HER are willing to believe the craziest things. No accusation is too far-fetched, no tweet too flimsy to […]

Named gifts, posthumous reputations, and judgment day

I didn’t expect to bump into fundraising in the pages of Michael Kinsley’s touching, funny book, Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide. But there it was, capping off his chapter-long riff on the Boomer Generation’s quest for immortality. Kinsley latches on to a favorite of the non-profit world – the named gift (a modern-day “indulgence,” in […]

You, too, can learn to love fundraising

The theme of the Harvard Business Review article is networking. However, the quoted comments from reluctant business schmoozers ring familiar to the way fundraising adverse nonprofit folk talk about asking for money. Uncomfortable, phony, distasteful, a necessary evil, feels slimy. I’ve heard them all, including from ministry leaders who claim to have accepted the good […]

Church attendance, generosity, and fundraising as ministry

Charitable giving is on the decline in the Sacramento (CA) region and a reporter for the local paper has traced the problem to its root – “a relatively low rate of residents who say they attend church regularly.” The article in the Sacramento Bee continues: The areas in the nation with the highest rates of […]

Secular fundraisers told to look to the faithful

“Don’t count out Christians.” This wasn’t advice I expected from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, but there it was in bold face, large font on the SSIR blog site. “By including religious groups in their outreach efforts, secular nonprofits stand to significantly strengthen their ability to effect change,” the tag line to the piece promised. […]

Listening for the gift

Most people think of fundraising as all about the ask. But truth be told, the best gifts come because a fundraiser listened. Don’t get me wrong. Asking is important. In fact, the majority of small to mid-size ministries have not because the fundraising team doesn’t ask as much as they should. However, after observing a […]

Just say no to ambulance-chasing fundraising

Along with compassionate folk worldwide, my heart aches for the people of Nepal in the wake of last week-end’s massive earthquake. News reports and photos of devastation compel us to do something, anything, to help make things better. Generosity takes over in the face of such awfulness. Which is exactly what the throngs of humanitarian […]