A funny thing happened to me on the way to the showers after I finished teaching the Mission Increase Foundation free workshop on Engagement in Colorado Springs last week.
I had made my usual number of harsh and derogatory comments in the workshop about the school of fundraising known as friendraising (like I’ve done on this blog here, here, here, here, here, here, and, um, here), when what to my wondering eyes did appear Betty Barnett, author of one of the couple books with the title, Friend Raising.
(The other prominent book on the topic, Friendraising, was written by Hildy Gottleib, who has not yet showed up at any of my workshops or flamed my blog. Interestingly, she just made a fabulous post on Ken Berger’s blog–you really need to read it–about how we should be measuring collective improvement in communities rather than individual organizational effectiveness. But I digress.)
Betty was so incredibly gracious that it didn’t feel near as awkward as most of the rebukes I have received in my life. She noted that she agreed with everything I had taught, that what I had taught was congruent with the principles she wrote about in her book, that we really should be looking for points of commonality and upbuilding rather than difference, that the term “friend” has biblical resonance, and that she would like to ask that in the future I draw a distinction between abuses/misunderstandings of the term “friendraising” and the system she describes in her book.
And then she gave me a copy of her book and indicated she’d like to stay in touch so that iron can sharpen iron.
You can’t ask for a more pleasant Galatians 6:1 moment than that.
So I thanked her for her kindness and indicated that I would of course read the book and share with her and others what I thought.
So this I will do.
By this point you’d think I would have learned to just not say anything at least until I’ve read the book, but…
You know, on the cover the subtitle reads “Building a Missionary Support Team That Lasts”. And in the nicely ample forms that Betty provides in the book’s appendix, there’s a form titled, “Thank you for your support of my ministry!”
One of the apparent differences between Transformational Giving and Betty’s Friend Raising approach (based on my exhaustive study to date of the cover and one of the forms in the appendix) would seem to be that Friend Raising involves the missionary/ministry raising supporters, whereas Transformational Giving involves the missionary/ministry supporting champions to develop their own ministry in the cause in order to help them grow into the fullness of Christ.
Which would explain why Coach Your Champions is subtitled “A parable about how cookies changed ordinary donors into champions” and why my appendix (well, the one in the book, that is, not the one beneath my sternum) has champion coaching forms in it.
I’m just saying.
But of course it would be foolish to judge a book by its cover.
Even if we at MIF are preparing to teach a workshop (in March) on how thanking champions is unbiblical.