Wyden Your Horizons!

The Newsletter of VanderWyden Consultants, Inc.
We Specialize in Fund-Raising Through Faith-Raising
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Providing Professional Giving Counsel
for Churches & Non-profit Organizations

Capital Fund Campaigns - Operating Budget Campaigns - Planned Giving
Wyden Your Horizons and Find The Joy of Generosity

June 2010 - INSIDE THIS ISSUE. . .

1. Basic Fundraising Principal #1 - Love them first Click
2. Introducing Rev. Ken Baily, who heads our Boston Office Click
3. About VanderWyden Consultants, Inc. Click
4. Subscribe / Unsubscribe Instructions Click

In this edition of Wyden Your Horizons, we begin a series on the basic principles of fundraising. In our work with churches across the United States, we have found that many pastors and lay leaders do not have an understanding of the basics of effective fundraising. Sometimes they have picked up a few assumptions about the nature of people and why they give, or why they don't give.

Often these assumptions are wrong. For example, in our experience we have found that many churches function with an assumed Mythology of Scarcity. They assume that there is always a shortage of money, and that the church just has to cut corners, eliminate programs, and/or under-staff programs just to get by. Consequently, these churches are continually struggling financially because they do not provide the programming, staffing, and services which are needed to meets the needs of members and the community.

This series on the basics of fund-raising will cover topics of how to plan for an effective fund-raising effort, how to decide which fund-raising process is best, how to determine the potential for increased giving, etc. In each issue of Wyden Your Horizons we will provide insight into one of these basic fund-raising principles.

If your church implements these principles, you will be able to move from a Mythology of Scarcity to a Theology of Abundance, where your church has sufficient funds to provide for your essential programs and services, and your members will learn the Joy of Generosity and grow in their faith in God's abundant providing. We have taught these principles at workshops throughout the United States, and the churches that have implemented them have reported to us that they have experienced inspiring increases in generosity. If your church would like to host a workshop in your area, feel free to contact us to discuss the possibilities.

We always like to highlight hopeful, emerging trends in fund-raising. We are now noticing that as the American economy continues its gradual improvement, many churches are sensing that this is good time to conduct a Capital Fund Campaign to renovate and/or to build an addition to their facilities. These churches are realizing construction and interest costs are very low at this time. This can enable churches to do more renovations or to build new facilities at much lower costs than a year or two ago. This window of cost-effective building will probably only last at most one more year.

We are happy to share our insights derived from providing this specialized ministry of faith-raising through fund-raising. We are also happy to share the insights of our readers. If you have observed hopeful signs of increased Joy of Generosity and you would like to share your learnings with others, please drop us a line and we'll highlight your insights..

VanderWyden Consultants are deployed throughout the United States and are happy to provide professional assistance for Operating Budget Campaigns, Capital Fund Campaigns, and Planned Giving Efforts. Our Wyden Your Horizons Operating Budget Program can enable you to increase your Operating Budget proceeds from 15-45%, and our Joy of Generosity Capital Fund Campaign can raise 2 to 13 times your present giving for renovations and new facilities. We have found that when members and donors give because they want to, rather than being pressured to, they give wholeheartedly and far more generously. We are also happy to share the insights of our readers in this newsletter. If you would like share your experiences drop us a line through our email address Bill@WydenYourHorizons.com Top

 Fundraising Principle #1: Love them first

Recently I was approached by a new pastor who was going to her first church. She had heard that the giving of the congregation was abysmal, not coming close to the potential of the membership. She shared her concerns about the congregation, and asked me, "So what technique should I use to get them to give more?" I responded, "Start out by loving them." She gave me a startled expression.

Perhaps she was expecting some tried and true strategy that would get people to give more. I had never been asked so directly about giving when going to a church for the first time. As I thought before I answered her question, I remembered what had occurred when I became a Pastor at my first church. I was inspired to be a Pastor, and I found the congregation to be a wonderful, warm, energetic, welcoming, affirming group. I had heard stories that some of my predecessors had had some challenging experiences, but my experience was different.

I instinctively looked for the hidden talents of the members, and expressed my appreciation when members stepped up to share their abilities. I felt that the future of the church would be dependent on how many people got involved in leadership positions. I knew my abilities would not be adequate to provide all of the services that we would need to provide. The church had been functioning with an assumed Mythology of Scarcity when I arrived. But I acted like this wasn't the case.

I was innocent, having never been a Pastor before. I just presumed that God would provide, and that we wouldn't have trouble raising money. And we didn't. About a year and a half after I arrived, the Trustees said that we needed to do some much delayed maintenance and renovations to the Church School and Fellowship areas of our facilities, and that we should see if we could raise the funds necessary to do these important projects. I stated that I was sure that we could raise the funds, and that we should organize a Capital Fund Campaign to do so.

The Capital Fund Campaign exceeded its goal and we were able to do the needed improvement projects. But what I realized about this experience, which helped me to answer this new pastor's question, was that I started out by loving the congregation, and waited until they raised the topic of raising a significant amount of money.

So my answer to the question of what you must do before you talk with individuals about giving more generously, is to truly love them before you ask them to give, and to wait until they invite you to talk about raising large amounts of money.

I remember a story that a colleague told me. He was in the midst of a multi-million dollar campaign. He knew that they would need a lead gift of at lease a half million dollars if they were to reach their goal. He asked the members who could make that kind of gift. They responded that there was a widow who had lots of money who could make that kind of gift. But they cautioned him that she had never given close to her capacity to the church, and that many individuals in the community had also approached her to make a large gift to support various causes, and she had always declined to give. He was told, "Yes she has the money, but it would be a waste of time to go to see her."

Well my colleague figured he had nothing to lose. He felt it would be best to visit the widow in her home where she would feel most comfortable. So he called the woman and asked if he could come to see her. She said she'd be happy to have him come to her home, but that she wanted to warn him ahead of time that she wasn't going to give a large gift. He said that was fine, he was just happy to come out to her home to get to know her.

He took a bouquet of flowers with him, and presented it to the woman when he arrived as a symbol of his appreciation for her willingness to see him. She was very appreciative She then asked if he would be interested in having a tour of her home. He said he would love to, so she showed him around the lovely home. He was fascinated by how beautifully she had decorated every room, and all the items she had accumulated in her travels that served as accent pieces throughout the home.

He asked detailed questions about the items and expressed genuine interest. After the tour, they adjourned to the living room. She offered him some wine and cheese and he accepted it graciously. He then began to ask her about her family, her life, and her occupations, hobbies, and interests, and he listened intently as she shared the important events of her life. This went on for a couple hours, as he continued to ask meaningful questions and to listen intently. This was not a phony act of being interested. He just naturally cares about people and is interested in people's lives and the things they are interested in.

Finally the woman asked, "Okay what do you want?" He reminded her that the church really needed to raise the funds for the new facilities, since there were so many who were in need in her community. He stated that the only way the church could raise those funds was if someone would make a lead gift of at least $500,000. He told the woman that he was convinced that she was the only one who could make such a gift. He suggested that this was rare, once in a lifetime, opportunity to make a gift that could really make a difference, and that he believed that she would be happy if she used her resources to make such a gift.

She said, "You know I've never had anyone spend so much time, expressing such genuine interest in my home and my life. I kept waiting for you to ask me for money. Most people come here to ask me for money. They're here a few minutes, and as soon as we sit down and make some small talk, they then ask me to make a big gift. They just assume that since I have more money than most, that I have plenty of money to give to their cause, and that I ought to give to their cause.

But you are different. I believe that you are truly interested in my welfare, and that you are sincere when you say I'll be happy to make such a gift to make a difference in the world. There's only one question I have - is $500,000 enough? I haven't ever made a big gift in my life. I have everything I could possibly want, and I now realize that I can make a difference in the world, and I would like to do that. So tell me how much is really needed and how I can go about making such a gift."

My colleague told this story to illustrate his belief about what you must do before you talk with individuals about giving large amounts of money. He told me, "I've learned that you've got to make a friend, before you talk about funds."

So once again you can see that you have to start by loving and appreciating people before you ask them to increase their giving, and that it is best if possible, to wait until they invite you to talk about giving. You can't really start talking about giving more generously until you have established trust and affirmation with a congregation.

People are always looking for phoniness when it comes to fund-raising. They put up their guards, for fear that you might persuade or pressure them into giving more. So before you even raise the issue of giving more money, you must first show people that you care about them deeply, and genuinely share their struggles and joys. Look for the the best in them. Appeal to their nobler intentions. Expect them to do well, and state your confidence in them and in God's abundant providing.

If you do so, you will find that most people aspire to make a difference in the world, and that when they believe in their ability to do so, and realize that the improvement will only occur if they are more generous, they will rise to the occasion.. This is the first basic principle in conducting effective fund-raising, start out by loving your prospective donors. Don't focus on money, but rather focus on their unique talents and aspirations. Appreciate their interests and desires, and express your belief in them and in God's abundant providing, and you and they will find the Joy of Generosity.

In our next issue we will share insights about the most powerful way to inspire others to give generously - Leadership by Example. Top


Ken BailyRev. Ken Baily staffs our Boston office. He serves as our medium and small church specialist in the northern New England area. Ken has served in parish ministry since 1985 and has also served as a consultant for churches and conferences. Ken currently lives in Newton Massachusetts. Baptized as a Presbyterian and brought up as a Quaker, he was ordained in the UCC at the beginning of his local church ministry. After a five-year career in state government, and following divinity school at Yale and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard, he has been called to parishes in Maine, Connecticut and Massachusetts, primarily serving as senior pastor in multi-staff congregations. His doctorate in ministry, awarded by Hartford Seminary, focuses on bringing transformative leadership to various sizes and types of congregations.

Now his particular interest is small and mid-size congregations, and following his first capital fund campaign in 1988 he has helped local churches to increase their annual stewardship giving dramatically and has helped churches to raise three to eight times their present giving in Capital Fund Campaigns. Ken is married with two children, and after roughly 35 years of life in Maine still calls that "home," at least for his heart. If your church is interested in increasing your annual giving and/or you would like to conduct an inspiring faith-raising campaign, and you are located in New England, please give our office a call and we'll arrange a time for Ken to meet with your church leadership. Top


VanderWyden Consultants provide professional fund-raising guidance to churches and non-profit organizations throughout the United States who require professional assistance with their fund-raising. We provide professional guidance for Capital Fund Campaigns, Stewardship Operating Budget Campaigns, Planned Giving Campaigns, Comprehensive Financial Feasibility Studies, and Workshops on the dynamics of stimulating growth in membership. If you would like to meet with us, since we provide our services throughout the United States, we can be available to meet with your leadership. If your church would like to host one of our Professional Workshops for churches or non-profit organizations in your area, we can provide a discount in our services for your church.
Or if you would like to explore how our services may help you to meet your needs, don't hesitate to call us through our toll-free number (888 -245-5826) for a no obligation free professional consultation.

Our staff has conducted over 350 successful campaigns throughout the United States. Our "Joy of Generosity" Capital Fund Campaign program enables churches to raise as much as 13 times existing giving levels, and our "Wyden Your Horizons" Operating Budget Stewardship program results in increases of 15 - 45%.

All ideas and commentaries in Wyden Your Horizons are copyrighted. Quotations may be freely used when the source is cited. Top


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Rev. P. William VanderWyden, CFRE
President - VanderWyden Consultants, Inc.
Headquarters -118 Westchester Drive, Amherst, Ohio 44001
Toll-Free Phone: 888-245-5826 (888-Bill-Van)
E-mail: Bill@WydenYourHorizons. com
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