December 2019 Resource

A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri J.M. Nouwen
A Spirituality of Fundraising
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Upper Room Books, Nashville, TN
Book Review By:
Melvin Amerson

Premise of the book:

Fundraising is a ministry that engages persons to discover generosity through proclamation and invitation to participate in God’s ministry.

What the book does:

A Spirituality of Fundraising is an awesome resource for clergy and laity who lead or seek a spiritual understanding of generosity. The late Henri Nouwen offers fundraising from a deeply spiritual place, instead of one that centers primarily on money as an end to a means. He views the givers and receivers as collaborators in ministry. This resource provides the spiritual language and conversation to lead persons to invest in ministry for the good of humanity and God’s kingdom works. Recently, a workbook has been added as a supplement to this resource.

Topics Covered:

  • Fundraising as Ministry
  • Helping the Kingdom Come About
  • Our Security Base
  • People Who Are Rich
  • Asking
  • A New Communion
  • Prayer and Gratitude
  • Your Kingdom Come

What are some of the important insights:

The late Henri Nouwen created a brief resource that is filled with a wealth of wisdom and empowering words for persons responsible for leading generosity in congregations or nonprofits. Also, persons who want to just explore or discover generosity and giving from a non-fiscal basis, but one of a spiritual nature, will find it as an eye-opener. Sharing quotes from Nouwen: “Fundraising is first and foremost a form of ministry." “Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.” “Every time we approach people for money, we must be sure that we are inviting them into vision of fruitfulness and into a vision that is fruitful.”

Possibilities as a resource for churches:

This is a great resource for clergy, laity and nonprofit leaders who want to reframe the language and narrative used to inspire and encourage generosity.

Melvin Amerson

Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist/Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.

Melvin is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership and visioning. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and is a nationally-recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations.

Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, a Master of Divinity degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.