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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

LESSON 24 - Ministry Fundraising 101 for Board Members

Welcome to Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Scott Rodin is our guest blogger this week for the third of three lessons in "Part 7: Boardroom Best Practices.”
LESSON 24 OF 40 - Ministry Fundraising 101 for Board Members
Could your board members pass a pop-quiz of fundraising practices?

 In Lesson 24, we are reminded of the importance of why board members must be aware and knowledgeable of how funds are raised for their ministry. As keepers of the fiscal integrity of the non-profit, board members are accountable for not only the quantity of funds raised to balance the budget, but the means by which they are raised, and how they align with the ministry’s values and mission. 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 24, pages 120-124: 
• “The board should ensure that the ministry’s fundraising practices are ethical and reflect well on the ministry and its mission.”
• “The ministry’s most valuable asset is its good name. If a ministry engages in questionable fundraising practices, it can quickly forfeit a good name that took years to build.”
• “For a ministry that receives a significant amount of charitable gifts, few board responsibilities are more important than providing oversight of the fundraising process.” 

There is an important underlying assumption in this chapter that we must not miss. It’s not only important that our ministry raises the funds needed for sustainability and strategic growth, it is also important, maybe even more important, the way these funds are raised. In fundraising for ministry, the end never justifies the means.

As board members, we must understand the ideology/theology behind our development strategy.
That will drive our desire for funds to be raised according to Biblical ethics, and used as the giving partner requests. It ensures the integrity and witness of our ministry, and reflects our own integrity as a board. That is the importance of this little chapter and it must not be missed if we are to be a board that does God’s work, God’s way for God’s glory.


Scott Rodin (PhD, University of Aberdeen, Scotland) has a passion for helping God’s people discover the freedom and joy of the life of a faithful steward. He is president of The Steward’s Journey and Kingdom Life Publishing and runs Rodin Consulting, Inc. He also serves as a Senior Fellow for the Association of Biblical Higher Education. Dr. Rodin has authored 14 books and he blogs weekly at The Steward’s Journey.

• Distribute, review and affirm your Gift Acceptance Policy.
• Ask your development leadership to produce a “Theology of Fundraising” document that describes the Biblical approach they take to raising funds for your ministry. (Editor’s note: See the six-page example in Development 101 by Scott Rodin and John Frank).  


On May 9, 2018, watch for Erika Cole's commentary on Lesson 25, "Align Board Member Strengths With Committee Assignments. Leverage the Three Powerful S's."

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