Stewardship and Philanthropy:
The Christian Strategy with Regard to Funding Mission
While we often talk about stewardship
and philanthropy together when we talk
about funding mission, they are different concepts.
relies upon the presentation of a "case" which outlines
the needs being experienced by persons other than either the prospective
donor or the solicitor. The solicitor presents the needs of the
"other' and the ways in which they may be met or alleviated
through the generosity of the donor. As the name implies, the appeal
is to our love of humanity and desire to do good.
strategy is focused on persuading a prospective donor to become
involved in the mission of the organization doing the asking.
The mission is the organization's. The money is the donor's. The
assumption is that as a donor becomes more involved with the organization,
the amount of their donations will increase. Organizations, therefore,
look for opportunities to strengthen these relationships.
- The relationship
between solicitor and donor is very important. In deciding who
should ask whom for a contribution, a key assumption is that it
is important for peers to ask peers. In many communities, a "you
support my cause and I'll support yours" quid pro quo is
taken for granted.
Programs - These may take many forms, including: naming of buildings,
rooms, positions (university teaching chairs); listing in publications
and other donor lists; and a variety of physical acknowledgements
such as plaques on furniture, art, trees, etc.
teaches that all that we have and all that we are is a gift from
God. We are, therefore, stewards of God's gifts during our lifetime.
Discerning and carrying out God's purpose is the primary purpose
of our lives. The gifts we have been given, time, talent, and money,
are to be used for that purpose. The primary role of the church
is to guide individuals in discernment of the mission for their
lives and use of their resources in accomplishing it.
primary objective of the organization (church) is to bring people
into a closer relationship with God. Strengthening relationships
with individuals is an important part of this but the goal is
always to create an environment in which the relationship with
God is strengthened.
key strategy is to encourage individuals to discern the gifts
God has given them and the work God is calling them to do. God
is the source of the mission and the money. Both are gifts over
which the giver exercises faithful stewardship.
- Giving is
taught as a significant spiritual practice. The Church encourages
giving by providing a variety of opportunities to give. Giving
is also seen as a joyful response to God's generosity to us.
is seen as a means of witness. The goal of recognition programs
is to provide givers with an opportunity to express their faith
and encourage others.
From The Alleluia Fund,
A Guide for Dioceses and Congregations, published by the Office
of Stewardship, Episcopal Church Center, 2002