September 2015 - Are You Ready for the Fall Giving Season?
Now, ready, set, go! We are at the fall giving season. It is here. Are you ready? Let's take a quick pulse of what you need to have in place right now, or as soon as possible.
April 2015 - Stewardship in the Local Church
Recently I had been asked to speak to two churches on stewardship. One was a very millennial church in Southern California that is 9 years old and the other a denominational community church with a long history in Pacific NW, but with new young pastors. One church is filled with young Christians under 40, and the other filled with life-long Christians over 40.
February 2015 - Excel in the Grace of Giving
I must say that I really enjoy studying and meditating on this verse in 2nd Corinthians 8:7. The apostle Paul is saying that just as we excel at love, fellowship, and faith, we must also excel in the grace of giving. It is an important part of our discipleship.
December 2014 - Check Your Pulse through Solitude
OK, it the end of the Holiday Season, end of the calendar year, maybe the end of your fiscal year, and somewhat the end of activities for your family. Before you get ready to jump into the new year, new goals, new calendars, new challenges and new stress I have a suggestion for you — Check Your Pulse!
November 2014 - "I got nothin'"—What's a Steward Leader to do?
As I was preparing to write this blog I thought to myself, "I got nothin'." I was empty. I had no thoughts running around my head to share and start someone thinking. And then I put myself once again in the place of a leader who desires to be a good steward and asked myself the question again. What does a steward leader do when they haven't got anything to give?
October 2014 - "Out of Their Most Severe Trial…" Giving During Difficult Times
We have heard a great deal over the last few years of how difficult it is for people to give to their churches, ministries, and nonprofits. We read how some giving is down, and for others, budgets are cut and pastors are laid off.
September 2014 - It's not too late to get your Fall Development Calendar in Place!
OK, it's September and your fall development strategy is ready to launch. But you have not finished your plans. You do not have all the details in place. You are not sure about some strategies. And you are feeling the pressure!Take a deep breath. All is not lost.
August 2014 - Outcomes vs. Process —
which is God more concerned with?
As a consultant, many times the goal with a ministry client is to increase outcomes. In other words, raise more money, attract new donors, and increase board involvement. These are things that are good, positively impact the ministry, and produce results that propel the organization to a higher level of results
July 2014 - To the Steward Leader—are you a good steward of yourself?
I have been working with nonprofit ministries for 35 years. In the past 4-5 years I have done more soul searching and self-examination than the previous 30 years combined. I guess we get that way as we get older. But in addition to age I had to ask myself: Am I a good steward of myself?
May 2014 - Summer Preparations for Development
I have written on this subject before but it is important enough to look at again. What does the development officer do during the months of June, July and August? How do you make productive use of your time when most donors are beyond contact and response rates to mailings are at their lowest? Here are some ideas for you to consider as you prepare for your summer of development activities.
March 2014 - Development Leadership
There are many aspects to leading and managing a development effort within a ministry. The management aspects are often written about. Managing the staff, the programs, strategies, and writing reports are just a few of the management tasks needed to make sure a development effort is successful.
January 2014 - Stewardship Summit 2014 Report
It was a great Summit with over 65 registrants. We had people from Nigeria, Lebanon, Canada, South Africa, and the Philippines as well as from all over the U.S. Here are the papers and authors that were there...
December 2013 - Serving the Steward at Christmas
It is a very busy time for everyone, trying to get meetings, parties, gatherings, and mailings all out on schedule, and at the same time worrying about year end goals, and not over-filling the prospects mailbox.
November 2013 - Development Success, The Next Generation, and Seasons
Three of my clients will launch the Public Phase of their capital campaigns in January 2014. As I finish working with them on a monthly basis and hand their campaigns over to them I am excited about the adventure before them.
October 2013 - Passion for your Cause
Are you still passionate about your cause? If you have gotten a little worn out, dry, or even a little skeptical it is time for a passion check.
August/September 2013 - Preparing for the Fall Battle
Many organizations receive 40-50% of their annual giving during the months of September through December. This is the "giving season" where people feel most generous and truly want to give at their highest levels. It is also the time when many major donors plan for their year-end giving due to cash flow and business planning. Are you ready?
July 2013 - The Role of Newsletters
Newsletters have been around for many years in the nonprofit world. They have been the key communication tool for many organizations and sometimes the only tool used to keep supporters informed for missionaries.
June 2013 - Development Fall Planning
You made it this far in the year! Your winter and spring mailings, special events, and other activities are behind you. You deserve a break. But you don't get one!
May 2013 - May Announcements and Resources
The month of May can be a time of winding down a school, or a giving season, or the beginning of the planning season. If you are an educational organization you may be implementing your final annual fund strategies. Others may be finding that May is not a strong giving month, and are using the time to focus on key relationships. Still others are beginning to see June through August as preparation time for the busy fall giving season.
March/April 2013 - Relationship vs.Strategy
We professional development officers believe in relationships as a priority. We see the person who is giving as the key to our causes. The very nature of a nonprofit is that a GROUP of PEOPLE care about a need or cause and volunteer and give to make that cause effective.
February 2013 - Development and Vision
Is there vision in your organization? Does your leader look to the future? I love Bill Hybels' definition of vision: "Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion."
January 2013 - What do your donors need to hear from you?
As the new year begins we in development do a number of things. We look at our development plans, calendar, and goals. We consider how to reach our goals and then begin the implementation process. I suggest that now is also the best time to ask this question, "What do my donors need to hear from me?"
December 2012 - A Call to all in the Ministry of Stewardship
You know my passion for stewardship and stewardship education. I believe it holds the key to a life of discipleship. As Christians, we desire to follow Jesus, his ways, and to be considered one of his disciples. This is the key to stewardship.
November 2012 - Uning the End of the Year Wisely
As all development officers look at their year-end strategy, I know there is a great deal of pressure to meet goals and raise funds. You have your Top 100 to contact, your board, maybe pledges that were made earlier in the year, and then your Year-End Giving reminder. But is it all about the income and goals? Can we do more as ministers of development?
October 2012 - Look to the Future!
As we go through the years and see generational trends affect our giving strategy, I have seen this truism come to be part of our development world. People become more and more concerned with what the gift will DO. And they become less and less concerned with what you as an organization have DONE.
September 2012 - A Special Invitation
I want to extend a special invitation to you to consider attending or inviting someone to attend the new Stewardship Summit in Portland, OR scheduled for January 10-12, 2013. (www.stewardshipsummit.org)
Summer 2012 - My Ministry of Development Heroes
In my many years of working in development and consulting with organizations, I have met many wonderful people who make a difference in their organizations and the people they serve. I would like to point out and thank three of these great "ministry of development" heroes as they have all retired last year and this
May-June 2012 - Why I Teach Generosity Rather Than Tithing
This is a huge topic and has had much discussion and debate. My personal conclusion having read and studied a bit, is that Jesus completed what he came to do, and now the new church is to be concerned with generosity in all areas of life, rather than the law of the tithe.
April 2012 - The Swing Into the Summer Slump
It is spring in most places and we begin to look at our end of school year, or fiscal year depending on your organizational structure. Just down the road from those activities is the dreaded "SUMMER SLUMP".
March 2012 - Are Capital Campaigns Successful in Today's Non-Profit World?
Much has been written about the many factors affecting a successful campaign. I find most of it is negative. As I am currently working with 5 capital campaigns, let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of a capital campaign in today's non-profit world.
February 2012 - Guidance for the Steward
I would like to continue to look at the 2nd Letter from Paul to the church at Corinth in our quest to understand how God looks at the steward in the New Testament.
January 2012 - Our New Idol for the American Church
Have you been hearing what I have been hearing since October 2008? The sky is falling, the sky is falling! It's the economy, stupid.
December 2011 - 2 Corinthians 8 continued
Last month I shared my thoughts on the opening message of the 2nd Letter Chapter 8 of Paul to the Corinthians. This Christmas and End of the Year thoughts are about verses 10 and 11 in the letter.
November 2011 - A Steward's Guidebook
We live in a time where there are a number of negative influences on the field of stewardship, giving, generosity, and philanthropy. Concerns like taxes, politics, economy, the church, and unemployment are all used to explain why giving is down, will be down, and that we shouldn't expect it to get better very soon.
October 2011 - The Special Events Season
I do not usually attend special events anymore. After 30+ years in the development world I have had my share of rubber chicken dinners, boring speakers, and programs that are too long.
September 2011 - 20 Years in Review
This month I begin my 20th year as a consultant. My oh my! I remember the first few months like yesterday. It was an exciting time of faith and watching God teach me many things. I sent out letters to everyone I knew letting them know I had started my own business.
August 2011 - Preparing for the Fall Giving Season
Are you ready for the fall? Amidst all of the doom and gloom in the media about the downward trend in giving, I remain optimistic.
If you have ever been in one of my classes, institutes, or workshops you know that I stress development fundamentals. It feels like I am showing my age when I get a little frustrated with all of the seminar and workshop titles that are so
June 2011 - The Development Bermuda Triangle
I get asked this question many times: Why is there such high turnover in the Director of Development position? My answer: The Development Bermuda Triangle.
April 2011 - Stewardship as Discipleship
This past Sunday my pastor invited me to fill in teaching the message at our church as he was just returning from vacation. It is an honor for me to do so, and I was greatly humbled to be teaching God's Word.
March 2011 - Journey of the Steward
Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
February 2011 - Mergers and the New Organizations
I have provided counsel for a number of ministry mergers during my tenure as a consultant. I have seen more fail than succeed, but that will be another topic for another day. We hear of more mergers, by design, by necessity and sometimes survival.
January 2011 - The Monthly Giver
As we start the New Year, I always encourage my clients to invite their faithful donors to join their monthly giving program. I will not go through the exact details of how to structure a monthly giving program in this eNewsletter, you can check out my book, The Monthly Partner to get the specifics.
December 2010 - Christmas Attribute
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son… I heard a pastor share an offering last month that went something like this:
November 2010 - The Steward and Thanksgiving
A client recently asked me after I gave a rather compelling biblical argument for the ministry of development, (OK, I thought it was compelling),
October 2010 - Ministry of Development - 15 years!
Please join with me as I thank God that my first book, The Ministry of Development has been serving the development profession for 15 years! And now, a second edition, revised, updated and with new material from my doctoral dissertation on stewardship, is available.
August/September 2010 - Finding a Whole New Mind
I recently read Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Needless to say it blew my mind! He is a wonderful writer that takes you on a journey that is informative and provocative.
July 2010 - Giving USA Report 2009: What can we learn?
I recently purchased the annual Giving USA Report for the year 2009. When you purchase the report you can also buy a number of options. I always purchase the powerpoint slides and use them in my training. This is the first year in many where gross dollars given to nonprofits has gone down 3.6% from 2008. In 2009 $303.75 billion was given by Americans to U.S. charities.
June 2010 - Where is Stewardship in our World?
I sit writing this from Beatenberg, Switzerland attending the International Council for Higher Education. As Vice President-Academic Programs for International Steward, I am hoping to present stewardship curriculum to the attending schools from around the world.
May 2010 - I Have My iPad, Now What?
OK, OK, most people know I am an Apple Addict. I love the technology, ease of use, and just plain coolness. I got the new iPhone 3GS because I knew my wife
April 2010 - My Boomer Social Media Rant
A few weeks ago I met an expert in social media and he invited me to speak at his conference. I spoke on
March 2010 - How is Your Board Doing?
Every development officer wishes their board would be involved in the development work of their nonprofit. But we all know this is not reality. If you are in a ministry, it is not uncommon to find board members who have been on the board many years and have never been involved in
February 2010 - Generosity - Learning to Analyze in a
As we have recently completed the giving season for most U.S. non–profits, it is important to stop and look at the response from our donors. How did your donors support your cause this past September through December? Did you look only at total dollars given? Or just net income as compared to last year?
January 2010 - 2010 - A Year of Stewardship Hope
As I reviewed a few articles from fall 2008 through 2009, I was struck by the trend of the article focus. First they were mostly a call to alarm about the economy. Then it was a call to cut back, save, even hoard as the sky IS falling.
November 2009 The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle
A recent article has come out from Stanford Social Innovation Review titled, The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle. It is written by Ann Goggins Gregory and Don Howard. I believe it is one of the most important articles written in many years.
October 2009 Stewardship in the International Church
Having just returned from Kenya and the International Stewardship Symposium, I have the following impressions I would like to share with you. These are only those that I have been able to put into words at the moment, a mere 3 days after returning home and recovering from jet lag.
September 2009 Stewardship Around the World
Sometimes when we think about stewardship we are focused on our own world. That world may be our church, or the para-church ministry we work in, or it may be clients or friends who work in these organizations. But I am not sure how often we think of stewardship and how God might be fashioning a movement throughout the world.
August 2009 Interesting Research: Motivations of Builder Age Donor versus Buster Age Donor
As I have been reading research from The Barna Group, Penelope Burk, CLA's new Economic Outlook Report, AFP, and others, I have gleaned an interesting conclusion:
As development professionals we are asked to raise funds and build relationships with donors. We do this and then some. We create strategies, work with boards, cultivate a presence in the community, and many other things.
May 2009 Is Your Fiscal Year End June 30?
What to do about the fiscal year-end that finishes in the worst giving time of year? We all know the downward curve in giving from January to August, and then the wonderful fall giving season begins.
April 2009 Nonprofit Causes - A Positive Message
What should you say to your donors these days? As you write them with updates, appeals, ministry reports, and financial reports, what should you say? Should we tell them how hard it is to raise funds right now? Should we tell them as many details as we can so they will understand? How much can we really tell them?
It seems that no matter where I turn there is something negative about the economy - in the news, on an airplane, in a church message. It seems we have lost all hope. And that is what concerns me. Where do we find our hope?
I have been speaking and teaching a great deal lately on the subject of Stewardship as a Lifestyle, and there are many aspects to cover. I deal with theology, church history, development strategies, pulpit traditions, parachurch ministry, and biblical studies.
January 2009 The New Year Time to Update Your Development Strategic Plan
A new year, new start, and a rapidly changing world! Wow, I hope you got some well-deserved rest over the holidays. We need to recharge our batteries once in a while. While many times the holidays can be stressful, they can also be a great distraction from the pressures of budgets, giving goals, operational issues, and other very important parts of our ministry.