Wyden Your Horizons!

The newsletter of VanderWyden Consultants, Inc.
Headquarters: 118 Westchester Drive, Amherst, Ohio 44001

Additional Offices in Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA     Toll-free Phone: 888-245-5826
E-mail: Bill@WydenYourHorizons.com Web: www.WydenYourHorizons.com

November 2004


1. Wyden Your Horizons with Thanks Giving Click
2. Current Fund-Raising Trends: Churches Struggle with Operating Budget Campaigns Click
3. Quotes about Giving Click
4. In The News: Generosity Can Be Good Business Click
5. Congregational Success Story: Heritage Presbyterian Church Click
6. Scriptures about Giving Click
7. Featured Book: Generous People by Eugene Grimm Click
8. About VanderWyden Consultants, Inc. Click
9. Subscribe / Unsubscribe Instructions Click


We're pleased to present this, our second edition of Wyden You Horizons. We provide this free email newsletter as a way to share our learnings about the blessings of generous giving. We received much positive feedback about our first edition and we hope this publication will be a regular resource for organizations and churches and individuals who raise funds for good causes. Please forward this to any family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers who may be interested in subscribing themselves.

As we celebrate this, our annual national ritual time of "giving thanks", it is worthwhile to observe that regular "thanks" "giving", can also be good for the soul and our emotional well-being. Researchers have consistently found that those who have a positive outlook on life, who believe that they are blessed, and who regularly give generously, have lower rates of depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other stress related diseases, and they live longer than others who do not practice these habits.

I believe that is one reason Jesus stressed generous, thankful giving. On the other hand, as we enter the Christmas Season, we need to consider what are appropriate levels of giving for our children and other family members. It does not do anyone any good to splurge at Christmas time, giving as if there is no tomorrow, and then in the New Year to be faced with huge credit card debt.

Forty percent of the 1000 Americans surveyed last year by the Million Dollar Round Table, an association of financial professionals, thought they spent too much. These individuals indicated that they felt finances caused stress, because sixty per cent of them did not plan ahead about the costs of their gift giving, and thirty percent used money they didn't have, by using credit cards to finance their extravagances.

It helps to focus on meaning more than money. If we give our loved ones gifts that are meaningful, rather than "moneyfull", the gifts are more likely to be remembered in future years.

Some of the most memorable gifts we gave our children were gifts we gave to our local zoo to ‘adopt" an animal in their name, and then they were thrilled to go to the zoo to see "their" animals, and to see their name on a plague on the cage. We also taught our children that this season was a time of thankful, generous giving for those who were in need, and a time for planning our giving for the coming year. We stressed that we wanted to complete our full tithe gift to our church for the present year, and that we also needed to plan for the next year and to make a commitment to increase our giving and generosity.

It is rewarding, now that our children are adults, that they are interested in how we're doing our giving, and often ask about causes we are supporting and inquire about how they can help in these giving endeavors. My Mother, their "Grammie", passed on to life eternal at the beginning of this month, and it has been very inspiring to our family to have received generous gifts from friends in her memory. These gifts are going to be used donated by our family to provide support for many causes and needy individuals as a way of giving thanks for the gift of her life. Generous "thanks" "giving" brings meaning to life and provides gifts that last forever. May your family be blessed to celebrate this holiday season as a time of Thankful Giving.


We have been hearing from a lot of churches that they are having struggles with their Operating Budget Campaigns this fall. The "jobless recovery" that our national economy experienced the past year, has left a lot of church members unemployed or underemployed. Consequently, many members have not been able to give as they have in the past and their congregations' programs and ministries may be curtailed just at the time these members need them most.

At the same time, from our experience we have learned that most members in most churches do not tithe or give up to their potential. In fact, the average giving per member in most mainline churches is around 2% of household income. Obviously, therefore, if those members who are still employed, would decide to have their giving correspond to their beliefs, by tithing 10% of their incomes, most Operating Budget shortfalls could be easily overcome. Our Stewardship Operating Budget Campaign Program consistently enables churches to increase total giving by 10-25% the first year, with significant increases in following years. Top


I must not just live my life, I will not just spend my life. I will invest my life. Helen Keller

It's good to have money and the things money can buy, but it's good to check up once in a while to make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy. Horace Latimer Top


For-profit corporations are finding that having a social conscience and giving generously to charitable causes can be very good for business. According to a survey by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Oekom Research in 2003, companies in the brokerage firm's world index fund that emphasized social responsibility outperformed their less conscientious colleagues by 23 percent over the past four years.

There also is a growing number of people, known as "social entrepreneurs", who are starting businesses that directly benefit social or environmental purposes. All of our experience in fund-raising has taught us that generous giving is good for people. In fact, as a result of this learning, our Capital Fund Campaign program is entitled the "Joy of Generosity." It is rewarding to now know that doing good and being generous can also be good for business. Top


Westminster Presbyterian Church of Amherst, Ohio and Northminster Presbyterian Church, of Lorain, Ohio were both started about forty years ago as new church starts. Both churches raised funds for small multi-purpose facilities and began to minister to their surrounding communities.

With the aid of the Presbytery of The Western Reserve, the founding membership of Westminster purchased several acres of land at the intersection of two highways and created a master plan for its future, including a large sanctuary and other ministry facilities to fully develop its site. The location was perfect for the creation of a regional church that would draw people from the surrounding areas.

Unfortunately, the anticipated growth did not occur in each church, and for four decades the churches survived in their multi-purpose facilities. Five years ago, the two churches merged to form Heritage Presbyterian Church. In 2003, the new merged congregation decided the time had come to fulfill the dream of becoming a regional church at the former Westminster site. They engaged our services to discern whether the congregation had the financial resources and willingness to financially support the new facility through a Comprehensive Financial Feasibility Study.

Our study verified that the congregation had adequate financial resources to fully fund the new facilities, but that the membership's giving habits were not near their potential, because they had never been asked to give sacrificially and generously. The congregation responded to our findings and took a leap of faith and embarked on a Capital Fund Campaign.

With our Faith-Raising process they discovered the Joy of Generosity and were able to raise the funds required to finance the new facilities. The church broke ground this past spring, the site is being developed, and the new buildings will be completed next year.

Rev. Jim Smucker, Pastor of the Heritage Presbyterian Church commented, "Bill VanderWyden's insights and wisdom have been priceless in helping us to have a positive Capital Campaign. His commitment to fee based consulting reflects his high ethical standards and understanding of stewardship. We are thankful that he has kept his promise to be available to us through the entire three-year campaign giving period. He continues to provide helpful counsel when we need him."

This project was particularly rewarding in that our headquarters is in Amherst, Ohio and we were honored that our neighbors trusted us to provide their fundraising counsel. Top


Psalm 23, Matthew 6:24-34, Philippians 4:4-6 Top


Generous People: How to Encourage Vital Stewardship, by Dr. Eugene Grimm, covers the ten proven principles that have been used by churches with high levels of giving. Generous People was written for both lay and clergy to assist them with congregational stewardship ministry.

Dr. Grimm is a Stewardship Specialist for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Generous People is part of Herb Miller's Effective Church Series and was published by Abingdon Press. It is available through Dr. Grimm's web-site: www.stewardshipconnection.com  or through www.Amazon.com. Top


VanderWyden Consultants provide professional fund-raising guidance to non-profit organizations and churches who need assistance with their fund-raising, including Comprehensive Financial Feasibility Studies, Capital Fund Campaigns, Stewardship Operating Budget Campaigns, Planned Giving Campaigns, as well as Evangelism and Membership Growth Campaigns.

Our staff has conducted over 350 successful campaigns throughout the United States. Our Capital Fund Campaign program can help churches raise as much as 13 times existing giving levels, and our Operating Budget Stewardship program results in increases of 10-25%.  Top


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Bill VanderWyden
VanderWyden Consultants, Inc.
118 Westchester Drive
Amherst, Ohio 44001
Toll-free Phone: 888-245-5826 (888-Bill-Van)
E-mail: Bill@WydenYourHorizons.com
Web: www.WydenYourHorizons.com