Fundraising Often Happens More Effectively in the Marketplace

“In fundraising, people who work in the marketplace are often wiser than people who work in the church.” (Nouwen, p. 18)

Despite having the greatest spiritual foundation and motivation for fundraising, congregational and ministry leaders are often amateurs in their knowledge and actions regarding fundraising. Marketplace leaders know how to ask people for money and how to use their money in a manner that honors the donor.

Too often religious leaders know how to beg for money and are unclear about its use. Many congregational leaders proclaim in ways that seek to create guilt among donors. Instead they ought to offer people a grand opportunity to participate in the mission of God, and the specific vision of a congregation or ministry. Invite people to be heroes.

Henri J. M. Nouwen. A Spirituality of Fundraising (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2010). [See the book at]

About the author 

Kyndra Bremer