Posted by: DCox | October 25, 2009

Spirituality of Fundraising

spirituality of fund-raisingThe blog on the HenriNouwen.org website is currently discussing The Spirituality of Fundraising. In my new role as Director of a Chrisitan non-profit, I’ve been giving some thought to fundraising. Why is it so hard to ask for money? Is it because our own relationship with money is fraught with ambivalence? — we always want more and yet as a society we don’t handle it responsibily.

Money allows us to attempt to control our environment giving some sense of security. We use money to purchase those items that we hope will build our self-esteem, items that we lust after, items that promise to ensure our membership in the right group.

How to we make fundraising a spiritual act? How do we make giving a spiritual act? At a recent ECFA workshop, the presenters talked about the need to educate people regarding the biblical concept of stewarship. The concept of being a steward is counter-cultural. Our culture hammers home the message that we deserve everything we earn (if not more) as well as the principle of personal ownership. We are owners rather than caretakers of the gifts God has given.

Our giving reflects this. Americans on average give less than 1% of their income to charities or about $400/year. Christians give little more than this; 1.5 to 4%. How can we effectively care for the homeless, alien, widow, and prisoner without the resources of money and time?


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