Thank you to Marc Henshaw for Henri J.M. Nouwen’s “The Spirituality of Fundraising.” Check out Henshaw’s work at Pilgrim Africa at

The author focuses less on “how” to raise funds and more on “why” to raise them. He writes, “Money and power go together. There is also a real relationship between power and a sense of self-worth. Do we ever use money to control people or events? In other words, do we use our money to make things happen the way we want them to happen? Do we ever use money simply to give others the freedom to do what they want to do? How do we feel when people ask us for money? (30).

The Bible warns, “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf” (Proverbs 11:28, ESV).

He goes to suggest, “The reason for the taboo [of talking about money] is that money has something to do with the intimate place in our heart where we need security, and we do not want to reveal our need or give away our security to someone who, maybe only accidentally, might betray us. Many voices around and within us warn us of the danger of dependance. We fear being dependent on others because of the idea that dependance is a threat to our security” (31).

Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?


One thought on “Fundraising

  1. Justin,
    Thanks for post. I'm currently taking an online course that uses this book. The facilitator asked the students this question: in light of Henri Nouwen's definition of the kingdom of God (Henri defines the kingdom of God as a place where all are needs are meet in the Shalom of God. A place of contentment.), how can Christian non profits reconcile their budget shortfalls with the promise of God's provision? I'm working on my thoughts. How would you answer the question? I'll send you my answer when I finish. Blessings. Marc.


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