Possum and Rolf and the pledge drive

Rolf and Possum want to donate to their congregation’s pledge drive. Problem is, they don’t have any money. Then Rolf comes up with an idea‚Ķ.

Click the image above to view the video on Viemo.com

As usual, full text below the fold.

Continue reading “Possum and Rolf and the pledge drive”

The Great Recession

Geographer Richard A. Walker, in his 2018 book “Portrait of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area,” writes:

“The Great Recession has been calamitous. The official U.S. government designation of a two-year lapse in growth 2008-2010 minimizes the reality….things are worse than that. The Great Recession won’t go away — regardless of the soaring stock market and falling unemployment. By any measure, recovery from the Great Recession was the slowest from any crisis on record, including the Great Depression of the 1930s [emphasis mine]. U.S. productivity remains poor overall, aggregate demand is weak because wages have barely budged, and corporations are not investing with any gusto. Loose talk of full employment by mid-decade ignores the fact that so many Americans have dropped out of the labor force entirely.” (pp. 64-65).

Two conclusions for congregations: (1) Expect fundraising to be an ongoing challenge, since many households have not recovered from the Great Recession. (2) Expect the need for congregationally-based social services such as food pantries and supporting homeless shelters will continue to be robust. In other words, we will have to continue to do more with fewer resources.

Notes from a fundraising workshop

Below are my notes from a fundraising workshop led by Kim Klein, author of Fundraising for Social Change, at Starr King School for the Ministry, Monday 25 April 2011. My notes are just a bare outline of the presentation. perhaps the most important part of the presentation was Kim Klein’s straightforward, easygoing, no-nonsense, humor-filled approach to talking about money. She was not in the least uptight when she talked about money. In fact, perhaps the most important thing she told us was that it’s OK to talk about money, that we have to un-learn all the taboos and social constraints we have around money.

That being said, here are my notes:


The key questions nonprofit organizations must ask themselves before beginning fundraising:

— What does your organization most believe? You want to have a short memorable sentence describing what you believe. Example: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
— What does your organization do? You want to be able to talk very coherently about what you do.
— How well have you done? — your track record
— How much? — sources of money: Who gives?

The purpose of fundraising is to build relations.

“We don’t want a donation, we want a donor.” So you build relations with people who will be ongoing donors. Continue reading “Notes from a fundraising workshop”