Support the Café

Search our Site

Fearless Fundraising: Connection

Fearless Fundraising: Connection

“Fearless Fundraising” is a series on church fundraising by Charles LaFond, an Episcopal Priest, author and master potter living on a farm in New Mexico. Charles is the author of many books including Fearless Church Fundraising and now, Fearless Major Gifts: Inspiring Meaning-making. For more information, videos and model documents go to


This is an award-winning cornbread recipe!  I often have people over to the little New Mexico farm in the fields of which I live with Kai-the-dog.  We drink tea and we eat hot cornbread with warm butter and honey and we talk.  We imagine possibilities.


Major gifts fundraising is as simple as that.  Connection.


It is true that the major gifts materials at will help support your work… the way to make a prospect list, the way to ask for a major gift, the way to design a major or planned gift program … all of these free documents will help your church to thrive in fundraising.  But nothing will happen…NOTHING… if your clergy, bishop and lay leaders to not make (not find) the time to connect over bread and tea.


A major gift emerges like a whale from the ocean, out of a series of conversations in which the donor’s longings to make meaning (see my new book Fearless Major Gifts for that) finds over-lap with the church or social-profit’s mission.


But this takes time.  Like the whale in the ocean, much silent swimming happens before and after the whale makes the occasional launch into vertical flight from the waves.


Make the time.  You will NEVER find the time.  Make the time to sit with people of wealth.  Get over your resentment of them.  Get over your fear of them.  Get over your various projections onto them.  Love them.  Ask them questions about what they find important and find the overlap with your mission and when you know each other and then when you like each other… break off a chuck of hot bread, pour some more tea, pass it to your donor-friend and ask for the gift. This is how this has happened for 10,000 years.  This is still how this happens.


Break. Take.  Eat. Ask. Build. Repeat.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café