In our 60 years of combined experience with faith-based non-profits we have seen high turnover rates in development staff, a general lack of a driving philosophy/theology of development in most ministries, confusion from boards over their proper role in development, and development staff who are frustrated and burned out by the demands of their work. The common denominator is a lack of a comprehensive, biblically based, fundamentally sound, development strategy.
We see at least four main reasons for this situation. First, far too few ministries have taken the time to think through and create a theology of development that serves as a rule and guide for all of their work in raising kingdom resources. The result is that the demands for money, rather than Scripture, dictate the techniques used for fundraising. Second, many organizations set unrealistic goals and expectations for their development team. When they are not reached, the ministry makes a change and tries again. When you add to this a lack of adequate training for new development officers, the turnover rate is understandable. Third, we see a serious lack of integration in development work. Ministries take a shotgun approach, trying all sorts of different ways to reach income goals, but far too seldom take a comprehensive, strategic approach that serves the giving partners not just the organization. Finally, we experience consistent misunderstanding and confusion over the board’s role in development work, compounded by an inability by the board to develop metrics for measuring effectiveness and success in raising funds based on kingdom principles.
This book is our attempt to address these concerns and provide development professionals with a tool that can help them build robust, God-honoring development programs. It is our prayer that this book will help development staff and CEO’s set realistic goals based on the time it takes to build a solid program and develop genuine, God-honoring relationships with giving partners. We hope this book will be a first step in training people who are new to the development field. We have included charts, templates and diagrams that we hope will aid in understanding how to build your plan and implement it successfully.
This book should also provide readers a picture of a comprehensive development program that they can use to evaluate current programs and make changes as needed. Finally, we wrote this book to help CEO’s and Boards better understand how biblically-based development work should look and be evaluated. We have discussed the role of the board and CEO in your organization’s development success. And, most importantly, we have started with the challenge that the Board, CEO and development team create a theology of development that will drive and guide everything you do.
Who Should Read This Book?
- New development people who want to do it the right way from the start
- Experienced development leaders who want to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their strategies
- Ministry leaders who need to build a more effective development program
- People considering a career change into the development field
- Board members who want to know how to better direct the development leadership of the ministries they serve
Why Read This Book?
- It will help you work from a solid biblical basis in all of your development work
- It will help you see blind spots that reduce your effectiveness
- It will provide you a roadmap for taking your development program to the next level
- It will help you become a more effective and faithful leader
- It will help everyone know how better to manage and evaluate your development work based on kingdom values
It is our prayer that this book will make a contribution to the success of new development people and the strengthening of seasoned programs. We pray it might play a part in changing the trends in turnover by encouraging and equipping development professionals who will stay the course and develop robust, effective and faithful development programs to God’s glory.