April 2, 2007
Beyond Fundraising invites congregations to move from "the
restrictive myth of scarcity" to "a reality of abundance." The book proposes
that congregations talk about money as a means to an end. Says Clark, "Money is
most meaningful when we can move from a mindset of needing it to pay the bills
to a conversation about the importance of money to fulfill the ministry of the
The book encourages congregations to bring fundraising under the
umbrella of stewardship, and create a "stewardship development program." In
addition to raising money for the annual budget, the program includes
stewardship education, joyful giving, ministry and good works, and planned
giving. Says Clark, "Money is presented as just one piece of a whole, and
because of that it becomes a less emotionally charged issue. Money becomes just
one stewardship tool to help accomplish the ministry of a faith community,
rather than a topic to avoid and a barrier to fulfilling congregational
Talking about stewardship rather than fundraising requires a new
vocabulary and Beyond Fundraising lays one out. Clark believes that the old
vocabulary carries a negative connotation and creates barriers that are hard to
overcome. Many terms congregations have used in connection with fund drives will
change as they adopt a stewardship approach, he says. Examples:
"Without a significant change of focus from fundraising to
stewardship, and without a new vocabulary to use, there is no reason to think
that we will become more successful in growing our congregations," says Clark. "
Fundraising emphasizes the need of the recipient, while stewardship addresses
our spiritual need to give. Leaders understand that stewardship is an act of
About Wayne Clark
Wayne Clark holds a doctorate in human and organizational systems and has been an organization development consultant for more than 25 years. He has consulted with more than 300 faith communities, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions. Clark lives in Portland, Maine.
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Last updated on Wednesday, September 14, 2011.
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