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Successful Fundraising
As a pastor’s daughter, I was keenly aware of the role that money played in a vibrant Church.  It made a worshipful atmosphere possible, enhanced the worship service through use of fine instruments, allowed community interaction, and paid for extras such as a church picnic we all enjoyed.  True, money isn’t everything.  But to a pastor who is faced with the need to build a new church, renovate a church school, pay off old debts or boost a lagging church budget income, money means a great deal.  Few pastors ever have the opportunity to learn what works today in fundraising-- the tested and true best practices, and how to mobilize church and community for action in raising funds. 

This column is a response to the steadily increasing numbers of Seventh-day Adventist pastors and their teams who understand that “we’ve always done it that way” is an adage that no longer works and who look for more successful ways to raise money.  Much has changed from the simpler times when giving to churches and their programs was taken for granted, as in my father’s day, when members could be counted on to give because “God said so,” and when there was less competition both for the spiritual as well as material attention of our constituents.  So perhaps now our attention has to turn to “we’ve never done it that way before!”

Philanthropic Service for Institutions (PSI) was created to address those changes and help institutions move forward in financially responsible ways that are crucial in today’s environment.  As the North America Division’s (NAD) internal consulting department, PSI is a  gateway to services for pastors and churches as well.  It provides a free consulting service to its member institutions and leaders. Thanks to an ever-increasing number of pastors and church leaders who want to raise funds in the most successful ways possible, fundraising principles have been adapted to be suitable for churches and schools.  In this bi-monthly column we will address issues and problems with positive answers, as well as refer you to additional resources available through PSI.  Pastors with successful fundraising experiences will be invited to share their expertise alongside of experts in faith-based fundraising.

Please peruse the PSI website, www.philanthropicservice.com, and become acquainted with us and our services.  And we look forward to communicating with you through this column and your responses to it, as well as reactions in the form of questions and requests for information.  Money isn’t everything, but it certainly plays a major role in a well-functioning church and its programs, and we want to help you in as positive and productive way as possible.

Please contact PSI personnel at: 301-680-6133
General E-mail:  info@philanthropicservice.com
General number:  301 680 6131

This article also appeared in the June 24, 2012 Best Practices newsletter.

Dr. Lilya Wagner
Dr. Lilya Wagner, CFRE
Philanthropic Service for Institutions