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A Spirituality of Fundraising

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,317 ratings  ·  137 reviews
A succinct and powerful witness that fundraising is a form of ministry and can be a deeply spiritual experience.

"As a ministry, fundraising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick, or feeding the hungry." - H.J.M. Nouwen
Paperback, 64 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Upper Room Books (first published January 31st 2011)
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Tim Casteel
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great short read- 40 pages. Packed with wisdom and truth re fund raising. The book is available for free on Nouwen's website or as a pdf many places on the web.

Fundraising is "not a necessary but unpleasant activity to support spiritual things."
Fundraising is spiritually good for both the ask-er and the giver.

Fund-raising is, first and foremost, a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission.
Fund-raising is precisely the opposite of begging. W
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a sermon Nouwen gave a number of years ago and was edited into a book. It is a thin volume but thick on truth and a different view of fundraising and money. His main point is to encourage Christian leaders to see that our fear of talking about and asking for money stems from our dependance on it rather than God. We are fearful. He also highlights the idea that all mnistry is relational and that fundraising is ministry. Asking for money and giving can draw us into deeper relationships wi ...more
Mitchell Dixon
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great little primer on the perspective of ministry partner development. It is chalk full of great little one liners to keep you motivated.
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm co-chairing an upcoming fundraiser for a cause I believe in. This book reinforced how important it is to believe in your cause, rely on already strong relationships in your life to build other believers, and how to help your friends and family become believers in your cause as well.

Ultimately, fundraising is spiritual journey to be enjoyed and shared with people you care about.
Matt Allhands
This could easily be titled "A Spirituality of Money". Nouwen gets under the surface to issues of motive and unhealthy relationships with success, comfort, and money in this book - definitely a good read for people looking to raise money for a ministry, but probably a good read for Christians who are struggling with concepts of tithing, and how their occupations fit into the work of the Kingdom. ...more
Gavin Breeden
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short little book adapted from a sermon or address that Nouwrn gave. As someone who's been raising money as part of ministry for two years now this was an immensely helpful little read. Nouwen asks his reader to think about their own relationship to money and to other people and to consider how fundraising can actually be a ministry to the people that we're asking because we're inviting them to participate in the work of God's kingdom. It's all very beautiful and encouraging, one of the best t ...more
Jun 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick and sweet overview of the theology behind fund-raising and stewardship. I especially enjoy Nouwen's analysis of relationality and community as being at the core of our work in fundraising--the goal is not money, but relationship, building community, creating the Kingdom. ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quick read to refresh ministry workers about the purpose and ministry of partnership development. Not full of practical how-to's, but contains probing questions that bring the reader back to the ultimate goal of inviting God's people to join in on God's work in the world. ...more
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic short read for anyone who fundraises in ministry. Nouwen was a brilliant spiritual writer whose work has consistently moved and challenged me, so I was delighted to see this offering. I am going to encourage everyone in my campus ministry organization to read it.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church
Wonderful little book that every Christian whose job requires raising funds should read. For such a small book there is very profound content. Pastors, church finance teams, & Christian nonprofit directors will especially benefit.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short, simple and deep. Important read for those individuals involved in fundraising for the Kingdom.
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good and quite short book to read slowly and reflectively. Worth a look for anyone involved in raising money, and maybe also for those who give it too.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fundraising, theology
Good overview of spiritual reasons to fundraise
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wonderful little book offered me so much hope and encouragement regarding fundraising and the opportunity to invite others into God’s work and mission. I wish I had read this book four years ago when I began fundraising for a full time ministry position. This book is perfect for those in the work of fundraising- both on the asking and giving sides. I was particularly encouraged by the idea that God’s Spirit moves in order to accomplish His purposes. If we trust He has called us to serve His ...more
Brian Thatcher
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Small yet profound. Inspirational without one exclamation point (See my review of The God Ask). It’s a spiritual and theological encounter with fundraising for ministry. While books like The God Ask have specific suggestions on how to do things, this little book doesn’t go there. It would have been dated anyhow. I’ll likely keep this book near me the next several months. Fundraising truly is ministry and relationship.
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in an hour or less. 64 pages. Great little primer for anyone who raises their funds for ministry! It’s aim is to change your view of support raising from “A necessary but unpleasant activity to support spiritual things” to “Fundraising is first and foremost a ministry” — that we are secure in Christ & free to ask/invite others (both financially & prayerfully) to join us in Kingdom work, and that what should be first true of this relationship is that it’s marked by love & clo ...more
Audra Gayle
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This gem's been on my shelf for a couple of months. I borrowed it from a friend, and I wanted to get it back to him. Wow! Nouwen's one of my favorite theologians to read. His take on fundraising points to the positive aspects of generosity without making God look like a vending machine. Also, he outlines how fundraising is directly tied to your relationship with and understanding of money. ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful read, and I feel like it came to me at just the right time. I wish it was (much) longer, as there is so much quality material here (would be 5 stars otherwise).
Erin King
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great, fast read that really challenged the way I relate to money and how a Christian organization should fundraise.
Lance Crandall
A short, encouraging spur into fundraising.
Daunavan Buyer
Aug 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great little book for those who are working with a non-profit or parachurch organization. Great insight and powerful invitations
Rob Coriston
There are some gems in there and it is short enough that it is worth the read.
Aldon Hynes
I loved A Spirituality of Fundraising. I read it for a class in seminary. It helps bring the discussions about stewardship back to things that really matter, like our relationships with other people, and our vision for the communities we are part of.
Dagan Mayfield
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent little resource
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Challenging and Inspiring

As always Henri both inspires one to see ministry through a new lens by first understanding oneself at a deeper level.
Sam Schreiner
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
An expanded sermon/teaching session turned into a book. While Nouwen is always rich and this gave me a lot to think about, it left me wishing that he had taken the time to write more on the subject. Three cheers for having the bravery to write on this important topic and I'm grateful that he has left this treasure for those who come behind him. ...more
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent, short book on the heart of fundraising. If you're looking for encouragement to enter what feels to be a daunting tasks, Nouwen has some great, consoling wisdom to offer.

My greatest take away:

People give to something they believe in. It's a mission, not a task, that people want to participate in. This reality will drive us, the ones requesting, to the drawing board to ask, "How much do I believe in what I'm raising resources for?"

Impactful Quotes:

“Fundraising is proclaimin
Chris Copeland
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, albeit short. It challenges some deep-set beliefs revolving around fundraising (both giving and asking). The main point is that fundraising for Kingdom goals/missions is a form of ministry and that when we are fundraising for Kingdom centered endeavors, we should not be afraid to ask for people to partner with us. This book talks about conversion. The conversion that we as fundraisers need to go through to be able to ask for support without hesitation and the conversion the giver ne ...more
This book definitely strikes a different tone about fundraising. It challenges people to see fundraising as an act of relationship rather than an act of necessity. It persuades people to view fundraising as an opportunity to announce the mission of your particular organization, and invite people to work with you to achieve it's purpose.

What I found lacking was depth. The thoughts were actually just compilations of what Nouwen said in various speaches to development officers of non-profits and ch
Nov 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
Quick recap of a biblically-minded approach to fundraising, that's been a timeless reminder for missions workers. I personally am a bigger fan of the God Ask, which probes your heart questions/doubts when it comes to fundraising, and lays out solid, practical action plans and mock dialogues. The Spirituality of Fundraising essentially sums up all those points for a good refresher on why asking others to partner financially is about reinvesting God's money, not their's, and addresses other miscon ...more
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Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen (Nouen), (1932–1996) was a Dutch-born Catholic priest and writer who authored 40 books on the spiritual life.

Nouwen's books are widely read today by Protestants and Catholics alike. The Wounded Healer, In the Name of Jesus, Clowning in Rome, The Life of the Beloved, and The Way of the Heart are just a few of the more widely recognized titles. After nearly two decades of

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“From beginning to end, fundraising as ministry is grounded in prayer and undertaken in gratitude. Prayer is the radical starting point of fundraising because in prayer we slowly experience a reorientation of all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves and others. To pray is to desire to know more fully the truth that sets us free (see John 8:32). Prayer uncovers the hidden motives and unacknowledged wounds that shape our relationships. Prayer allows us to see ourselves and others as God sees us. Prayer is radical because it uncovers the deepest roots of our identity in God. In prayer we seek God’s voice and allow God’s word to penetrate our fear and resistance so that we can begin to hear what God wants us to know. And what God wants us to know is that before we think or do or accomplish anything, before we have much money or little money, the deepest truth of our human identity is this: “You are my beloved son. You are my beloved daughter. With you I am well pleased” (see Luke 3:22). When we can claim this teaching as true for us, then we also see that it is true for all other people. God is well pleased with us, and so we are free to approach all people, the rich or the poor, in the freedom of God’s love. Whether people respond to our fundraising appeal with a yes, a no, or a maybe is less important than the knowledge that we all are gathered as one on the holy ground of God’s generous disposition toward us. In prayer, therefore, we learn to trust that God can work fruitfully through us no matter where we are or who we are with. The more we touch the intimate love of God which creates, sustains, and guides us, the more we recognize the multitude of fruits that come forth from that love. —Lifesigns As our prayer deepens into a constant awareness of God’s goodness, the spirit of gratitude grows within us. Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we” 0 likes
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