Traditional Fundraising vs. Transformational Giving, Part I: A Definition

It’s been a while since we discussed the differences between traditional transactional fundraising (ttf) and Transformational Giving (TG) on this site, and I fear that when we fail to remind ourselves of the difference we can lull ourselves into thinking that we are engaged in TG when in reality we are still practicing ttf for all intents and purposes.

So I was delighted to be able to garner some new insight into the difference as I was reading Leading, Teaching, and Making Disciples by Liberty University’s Dr. Michael R Mitchell. He writes about leadership proper rather than fundraising, but there’s a one-to-one carryover, for sure:

As a result of James MacGregor Burns’s classic volume, Leadership, it is common today to distinguish between “transactional leadership,” where an exchange occurs, and “transformational leadership,” where change occurs (Burns, 1978). In transactional leadership, an exchange between the leader and the follower facilitates the fulfillment of an objective or the accomplishment of a task, enabling an alteration in location, information, or even product. In transformational leadership, a substantive change occurs in the nature or character of either the followers or the organizations of which they are a part (p. 11).

Adds Mitchell, Jesus’ own transformational leadership was characterized by an “insistence his followers become something different than they were before the encounter” (p. 11).

Do you insist that your donors-as-followers or church members become something different than they were before their encounter with your organization? Do you measure it?

Do you ask them about it?

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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