Needed: A revelation of champions and partners

Read Frank Viola’s From Eternity To Here while slogging away on the Precor machine at the Y tonight. The book’s dedicated to enabling Christians to see the church as what Frank calls ‘God’s ageless purpose’. Some moving passages in there, truly.

Development guy that I am, the voice in my head kept saying, ‘Dang, do we ever need that in fundraising.’ I consider it part of my duty to try to read each new book on fundraising that comes out, as well as checking numerous blog posts each day. I find that it’s harder and harder to read the stuff, however,as what all of it seems to have in common is an unshakeable sense of the ‘donor’ (blech) as human ATM machine.

  • In the cult branding/marketing evangelism movement, the donor is a passionate ATM machine
  • In the stewardship movement, the donor is a disciplined ATM machine
  • In the friendraising movement, the donor is a very well affirmed ATM machine
  • In mass fundraising, the donor is on average still a reasonably reliable ATM machine, especially if you apply the best tricks and techniques
  • In the upper crust of fundraising and philanthropy, it takes some effort to identify the right ATM machine and even more effort to learn the secret PIN code that sets the large denomination bills kerchunking out the chute, but the allure of that kerchunk seems well nigh irresistable to many nonprofits (Christian nonprofits forming no exception, sadly)

Oughtn’t we to be troubled that this is the diminutive (and just plain dim) light in which we view the saints of God?

I don’t normally read Frank’s stuff, but I picked up the book out of a sense that every so often I just need to remind myself who these folks are with whom we’re deailing. Terms like ‘regular’, ‘middle’, and ‘major’ ‘donor’ sound about like a wind-up monkey with clanging cymbals when read against the backdrop of passages like Frank’s paraphrase of Ephesians 5:25-27:

Jesus Christ loved His bride and gave Himself to die for her. He died to make her holy and pure. He cleansed her with His own blood, washing away every sin she ever committed or will commit. He cleansed and washed her so that He could present to Himself a glorious church…a church full of heavenly glory. She is now without spot in His eyes. She has no stain upon her. She is also without wrinkle. That is, there is nothing old in her. She is new and forever young, free from the aging process of the fall. She is void of all spots, all wrinkles, or ‘any such thing’–which includes warts, moles, scars, knots, etc. She, the bride of Jesus Christ of which you are a part, is utterly flawless. She is as holy as the face of God..and without blemish.

Two weeks away from our first US-based Transformational Giving seminar (still time to sign up), and I find that the term ‘donor’, which I used to be unable not to say when I talked about development, now disgusts me.

What we need is not new tools, techniques, and strategies for raising more money from donors for the nonprofits we consider precious. What we need is a revelation of how God sees champions (individual Christians) and partners (organizations and local expressions of the body of Christ) such that our passion is to raise up and equip His saints, and we are willing to cast our nonprofit organization crowns at His feet as we join Him in preparing His bride to walk in every good work He has prepared for her–giving included.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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1 Response to Needed: A revelation of champions and partners

  1. Pingback: How NOT to do friend raising « Transformational Giving

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