Taking Donors Seriously

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Reviewed by Matt Marino

While not exactly putting the “fun” back in fundraising, Brad Leyland does put relationships back into it. Brad is CEO of the Focus Group, a consulting company to non-profits for donor development and capital campaigns.

Layland’s system is familiar to me, as his program, “Taking Donors Seriously,” is the fundraising system we used in my 17 years on Young Life staff. I can say that, where it was once very difficult to fund parachurch youth ministry without a church to pass the plates every Sunday, after a decade of using this system, our income had increased tenfold and we were never in financial crisis again.

The essence of “Taking Donors Seriously” is realizing that donors aren’t ATMs, but friends, teammates, and ministry partners. Turning Donors into Partners is essentially about replacing transactional relationships with donors for real friendship and cultivating their vision and participation.

Turning Donors Into Partners is a fun and engaging book, with a challenge to make donor development a ministry that points others to a greater love for God and participation in his mission on earth.

The Rev. Matt Marino is rector of Trinity Parish, St. Augustine, Florida.


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