About This Blog: Fundraising and Communications

In an earlier post, I wrote about refocusing this blog on three topics: charity, fundraising and communications, and being a pastor. In this post, I’m taking a little time to talk about one of these foci: fundraising and communications.

I’ve been a nonprofit development professional for more than a decade. I’ve worked for institutions of higher education and for social service agencies. I’ve volunteered and consulted for churches. I’ve done everything from annual fundraising campaigns to capital campaigns to designing websites and newsletters. For over ten years, I’ve lived and breathed development work.

I’ve also been part of the church — and, specifically, part of the United Church of Christ — for my entire life. And, to be blunt, we aren’t very good at this work. Churches from every part of the political and theological spectrum are struggling with their fundraising and communications. Stewardship campaigns are ineffective, websites are outdated, and very few congregations are innovating when it comes to engaging their constituencies. These problems aren’t the only cause of shrinking churches and budget struggles, but they’re certain one of those causes.

Part of what this blog is about is sharing best practices — practices that have been honed in the bigger nonprofit sector — with the mainline church. We can be responsibly and faithful stewards of the gifts that have been shared with us. And we can use those gifts to share the good news with more people.

Right now, there is a movement in churches and nonprofits arguing that charity is toxic, that helping hurts, and that the entire nonprofit sector needs to be reformed to truly lift people out of poverty. These charity skeptics are telling Christians that traditional charity deepens dependency, fosters a sense of entitlement, and erodes the work ethic of people who receive it. Charity skepticism is increasingly popular; and it is almost certainly wrong.

Now available from Wipf and Stock’s Cascade Books imprint, Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) weaves together research and scholarship on topics as diverse as biblical scholarship, Christian history, economics, and behavioral psychology to tell a different story. In this story, charity is the heart of Christianity and one of the most effective ways that we can help people who are living in poverty. Charity—giving to people experiencing poverty without any expectation of return or reformation—can save the world and help make God’s vision for the church a reality.

Pin It on Pinterest