Summer 2014


The theme for Summer 2014 is “Money Matters.”

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Books to Consider

Great insights on Christian leadership, money matters, and more!


Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches
By Peter Greer and Chris Horst (Bethany House Publishers, 2014)

Too often, as Christian organizations grow, the gospel often becomes cursory, expendable, or even forgotten. Often, leaders have watched their ministries, businesses, and nonprofits professionalize, expand, a...

Clarity Amidst Cacophony

Getting noticed in a distracted world

It has been said by many that the age we’re living in right now could well be the most distracted in all of human history. Researchers say at minimum we are bombarded with 3,000 images per day. The problem is that we only notice half of what flashes before our eyes. Our brains have become increasingly numb to this massive infiltration of noise into our minds. We simply cannot process 3,000 visual “pop-ups” ...

Donors First

A new paradigm for maximizing fundraising

At the heart of major gift fundraising is a strong relationship with donors: growing relationships with existing donors and building relationships with new donors. Building a new relationship with a donor begins by gaining trust. Frequently the first barrier we face is an irrational fear from the donor that somehow we are going to “take” money from them that they don’t want to give. The single most chal...

Joyful Generosity

Poverty and the Grace of Giving

How does the generous heart grow?

In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. (2 Cor. 8:2)


In the book Creating Congregations of Generous People, (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1999), author Michael Durall identifies experiences needed to develop a spirit of generosity.



Measuring Impact

The secret of strong donor relationships

One of the greatest challenges for any donor is being a good steward over the funds that have been entrusted to them. At the Stoller Foundation, we receive numerous requests for funding and many are for praiseworthy projects. How do we narrow them down? How do we choose? I think the answer to that question is very similar for any donor — whether it is an individual giving $100, a church donating $10,000, or a founda...

Mission True

Hope International's Peter Greer on avoiding mission drift

CLA president and CEO Tami Heim recently interviewed Peter Greer, president and CEO of HOPE International.

Greer joined HOPE International in July 2004, following education and experience in the field of microfinance. He received a B.S. in international business from Messiah College, and an M.P.P. with a concentration in political and economic development from Harvard’s Ken...

More Blessed

Why giving truly is better than getting

One of the most familiar texts in the Bible — that we remember from our childhood efforts to memorize key texts, and that has also taken on the air of an aphorism — is from Acts 20:35 in which Jesus is quoted as saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” That statement engenders a variety of reactions, ranging from “You can’t be serious,” to “That doesn&rs...


Insights from Grey Matter Research

In the world of ministry fundraising, many assumptions are made about the perspectives and behavior of Christians, as though their charitable behavior is very different from non-Christians.

Christians do tend to behave differently than non-Christians in certain ways. For instance, Christians are more likely than others to pray, give money to a place of worship, have children, and be politically conservative.


Redefining Acquisition

A new approach to cultivating donors

The return on investment (ROI) of acquisition. A donor costing an average of $100 to acquire, and giving an average of $75 in the first year and $125 in the second year, requires 12 months to achieve ROI … and that’s if 100 percent of acquired donors give in the second year! Many organizations report an 18 to 24 month ROI on acquisition investments.

No wonder acquisition is a challenge. Even if a sourc...

Retirement Plan Concerns

Insights from the Faith-Based Retirement Plan Survey™

The results of the 2013 Faith-Based Retirement Plan Survey™, sponsored by Envoy Financial and Christian Leadership Alliance, are in! The final report reveals common concerns, best practices, and issues impacting ministers, missionaries, and faith-based ministries in general.

Independent churches, parachurch organizations, mission-sending ministries, and denominations were the f...