Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The benefits of giving are seen by Christians every day.  But biblical truths are not just beneficial for the believer.   “Do not kill” is a biblical truth. You do not even have to know who God is for this truth to be meaningful in your life. God’s truth benefits believers and non-believers alike every day.  So His truth about giving are for the believer and non-believer.
As this blog is written for the purpose of Transformational Fund-raising and Transformational Giving here is an article passed on to me by one of our missionaries.  Why Fund-Raising Is Fun.
In this article the author mentions the benefits of being a charitable person.  So since being charitable is beneficial, then helping people be charitable is fun, because you know you are being a benefit to them if you help them become charitable.   
Here is a quote from Mr. Brooks  that caught me.  
 I have found that the real magic of fund-raising goes even deeper than temporary happiness or extra income. It creates meaning. Donors possess two disconnected commodities: material wealth and sincere convictions. Alone, these commodities are difficult to combine. But fund-raisers facilitate an alchemy of virtue: They empower those with financial resources to convert the dross of their money into the gold of a better society.
 Of course, not everyone shares the principles that motivate my institution’s scholars and supporters. But with millions of 501(c)(3)s and houses of worship nationwide, no one needs to wait on the sidelines and hope that politicians will marshal government power in service of their priorities. By investing their own time, talent and treasure, every American can bring his or her core principles to life. That can mean promoting literacy, conserving nature, saving souls or something else entirely. None of this is exactly revolutionary; after all, Jesus himself taught his followers, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
 What struck me is the reality that when our convictions are based on God’s Word, then combining His truth with the resources, or wealth, He has given to us, puts the donor on the front line of seeing God’s truth change the world.  By giving you can get off the sidelines.
Now that is beneficial.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fear Factor

In C. S. Lewis’ classic, Mere Christianity, Lewis makes this observation about giving, or the lack there of:
"For many of us the great obstacle to charity (giving) lies not in our luxurious living or desire for more money, but in out fear – fear of insecurity."

This is true for many believers. It is not grand dreams of being rich or owning the best of everything that keeps many from giving.  Most times the lack of giving is much more subtle and perhaps more dangerous than an unhealthy desire to be the ‘fat cat’.  Most times the lack of giving is tied to a lack of trust.  It may be a lack of trust in God to be the one who takes care of us.  Or sometimes it is a lack of trust in God to supply our needs even when we do not feel we have anything to give.

Both as a person who gives and a person who raises funds, you need to first model and then teach the truth of TG principles #1 and #2.

Principle 1: Every act of giving is first and foremost a statement about the faithfulness of God.

Principle 2: Transformational giving is based on the abundance and trustworthiness of God, not a theology of scarcity.
Living and believing what God word says about His ability to supply is the key factor in living without the fear Lewis addresses.  Our security must not be in things but in Him.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Adjust your Focus

One major key in giving being transformational as opposed to transactional is where the need is focused.  TG focuses on the need of the person to give not just the need you have to receive.  Here is a good quote from a recent article in Outcomes magazine about the role of 'need' in giving.

Generous giving ultimately flows to need-meeting ministries with vision, not needy ministries.   Our ministries need to be worthy of people support because we are fulfilling a God-ordained purpose, managing our ministries well, stewarding the resources we’ve been entrusted, and caring about and for our givers and those we service

I would make one small change to this quote to help both the giver and receiver. Change Our ministries need to be worthy of people support because we are fulfilling a God-ordained purpose


Our ministries need to be worthy of people support because we are fulfilling a God-ordained purpose, along with the givers' call to also fulfill their God-ordained purpose.

We know giving is needed not just for the recipient but for the giver.  The call God has given the one the giving is as critical as the call of your ministries purpose. 

I love the line above that helps us not to focus on being needy.  When you stop acting needy and start serving and caring for your givers, you will see fruit!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Are $$ the sign of success?

What a silly question to ask fund raisers...are $$$'s the sign of success???  Of course they are.  But wait.  Perhaps that is not the best question to ask.

Let's start with a more basic question before we jump to the jugular.

Are you doing fund raising or are you doing ministry?  If your fund raising is not part of a deeper ministry, this blog is not for you.  This is not to condemn anyone. This is just a different approach. Different is different not wrong.

So, if you are still reading,  I am assuming you answered...I am doing ministry, not JUST fund raising.

If you are doing ministry then stewardship/giving is part of the work but not all.  Therefore in TG, getting dollars is only part of the story not the entire story. Here is one way of setting goals my development teams uses in training.  This helps see the entire story and go beyond dollars to ministry.

If support raising was a college course,  what would an “A” look like?  No one takes a college course without getting a syllabus in order to know what to do to get an “A”.  All the work done in the class is done with the final grade in mind.

So here is what the syllabus might look like.

Fund Raising Syllabus

Goals of class

1.      Mobilize current champions to deeper involvement

2.      Enlarge team with new champions for The Cause

3.      Hit budget (Doing 1 and 2 will lead to #3)

How to accomplish class Goals


·        Fund raiser set goals for their work

·        Identify Champions activity according to PEO

·        Identify a few champions to work on migration goals with them

Implement Plan

·        Activity must align with class goals

·        Activity needs to align with CMS principles

·        Activity needs to be regular!!!


·        Success is measured by the goals of the class stated above.

·        Monthly identify what is working and what is not.

·        Evaluation is done collaboratively with a coach.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

That's a Lot of Gold

As you read through the design plans in Exodus for the Ark of the Covenant, the furniture of the tabernacle and the tabernacle itself have you ever notice all the gold God asked them to use.

Think for a moment about all that gold…

The Children of Israel are former slaves.  Slavery is all they know.  Now God frees them from Egypt and on the way out the front gates, God has the Egyptians pay them to leave.  They give them gold, silver, bronze, linen etc.   Imagine being a slave your whole life and now your rich.
The Israelites are now free.  They have crossed the Red Sea, the Egyptians are dead and no longer in pursuit, manna is falling from heaven, water is coming from rocks and now God comes to give His plan for worshipping Him.  The way this worship gets accomplished is if the people give.

Think with me a moment.  You have been a slave.  Now you have all this stuff from the Egyptians.  And God now ask for it to be used to for the items that you and other generations will have for worship. Your reaction could be one of several.

  • I just got this gold, why do I have to give it up now.
  • I would like to keep my gold so when we get to the promise land I can build a nice house.
  • I am still not sure about Moses so I will keep my gold in case I find a better way to use it, for instance, what if someone wants to build a golden calf.

But do the Children of Israel really need all this gold?  They live in the wilderness. God provides all their food, clothes, shoes everything.  So why did He give them the gold?  Did He give them gold for them to give back to Him for worship?  I think so.  They do not need the gold for themselves.  So God asked them to give it to Him.

The gold of the Children of Israel is no different than the incomes we earn today.   God is our provider.  He gets me my food, clothes shoes etc. Your income and my income are from God.  So when God asked for it back, no problem.  He gave it in the first place.  And when I give it to God it is for the same purpose of the giving in Exodus…it is for HIS use.  If he wants to cover a lampstand with it fine.  The Children of Israel’s gold was for God’s use.  The same is true of your gold and mine.  What we have is for HIS use.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stay Committed

“If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either.”
This quote is from Seth Godin’s book Tribes.

Christmas from the view point of the eye witness observers may not have looked very successful.  After all, how many kings are born in mangers.  Between the manger and the cross, the plan to change the world is not looking too successful.

Commitment comes before success!

Praise God for being committed to us.  And thank the Lord that the success is revealed in the empty tomb.  The victory has been won and for the followers of Christ we know the final victory is coming.  So we stay committed.

For those working for the Cause of Christ, stay the course.  People are not changed by our funds, our activities or by us.  They are changed by Jesus.  Successful fund-raising does not mean successful ministry.  We must continue to mobilize people for the cause not the dollar.

Dollars come and go as quickly as success.  Commitment changes the hearts of people.  Work to assist people in their level commitment not their level of giving.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Transformational LIVING

As I travel and teach Transformational Giving, either in the US or internationally, I continue to see the common theme in this teaching that rings true for every believer.  That theme is based on the activity that comes in living for Jesus when He has transformed the heart. When Christ has transformed the heart, the believer gets active.  This activity comes in a variety of ways based on the touch of the Spirit in the believer’s heart, but none the less, activity happens.

This is why Transformational Giving is about so much more than dollars.  Giving the dollars is a small part of living a life that reflects the transformational work done by Jesus in the heart of a person.  What God gives is the power to live a transformed life that becomes active for His Kingdom.  Giving of dollars is critical to God’s work, but it is only part of the story.

I recently read something in Andy Stanley’s’ new book Deep & Wide that helps clarify that ‘doing something’ is key to our spiritual walk.  He says,

“Jesus taught for a response. He taught for a life change.”

Life change…is this not another way to say Jesus taught for us to be TRANSFORMED.

Stanley goes on to say,

“He (Jesus) didn’t come to simply dispense information….Jesus was after active, living, do-the-right-thing faith.”

Jesus was after change in living not just change in thinking.  Jesus renews our mind, but if the renewing of the mind does not change the actions of the follower, has the mind really been renewed?

You can learn that God is a giving God.  You can learn that to give reflects Jesus.  But if you never become a giver yourself, how has this knowledge you’ve gained changed your heart?

I am not a fund-raiser.  But I called to assist others by helping them live transformed lives for Jesus Christ.  And I love seeing people reflect Christ.  Giving is a KEY part of reflecting Christ, so I am more than comfortable with teaching about giving.  This is far different from fund-raising. 

Basic fund-raising is about the dollars.  Too often it is about the dispensing of information and not about seeing change.  Transformational Giving is about the donor not the dollar.  It is about teaching activity, about teaching the “active, living, do-the-right-thing faith.”  So when all is said and done, TG is only a part of teaching others about Transformational Living.  If you want to call this fund-raising, I am fine with that. Because when lives are transformed TG happens, and this is the kind of ‘fund-raising ‘I can get behind.