Sunday, March 8, 2009

Update On So-Called Stewardship Training: Church and Change Board Member Jeff Davis



Church and Change board member Jeff Davis works with Ron Roth, one of the patriarchs of Church Growth in WELS.



The things I learn each day!

Jeff Davis' stewardship training consists of raising money for a percentage of the loot, about 3 to 4%! Holy Moley! (Bruce Church will call Holy Moley a typo and tell me I meant to say Holy Money. However, there is an ancient Greek herb used with pagan religious rights. Holey moley is kosher, in a manner of speaking.)

This is the Code of Ethics for Fund Raising Counsel. Note the part in red:

Code of EthicsFRCI adheres to the standards of practice and code of ethics, as outlined by the Giving Institute (formerly the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel--AAFRC).

Standards of Practice


•FRCI provides service to non-profit organizations that serve the public’s best interest.
•FRCI engages clients that represent the broadest interests of society such as: religious, educational, health care, human service, arts, cultural, humanitarian, environmental, international, and other organizations benefiting humankind.
•FRCI offers services which advance the goals of a client and which directly relate to philanthropy, such as studies, campaign management, annual development programs, planned giving, strategic planning, direct mail, telemarketing, management services, executive search, public relations, marketing and communications, software developers, organization development/management, prospect research, and training. FRCI and its principals participate in the philanthropic community.
Professional Code of Ethics


•FRCI believes it is in the best interest of our clients that:
•Initial meetings with prospective clients should not be construed as services for which payment is expected.
•No payments of special consideration should be made to an officer, director, trustee, employee, or advisor of a not-for-profit organization as compensation for influencing the selection of fundraising counsel.
•No payments of special consideration should be made to an officer, director, trustee, employee, or advisor of a not-for-profit organization as compensation for influencing the selection of fundraising counsel.
•Fees should be mutually agreed upon in advance of services.
A flat, fixed fee is charged based on the level and extent of professional services provided. Fees are not based on the amount of charitable income raised or expected to be raised.
•Contracts providing for a contingent fee, a commission, or a fee based on percentage of funds raised are prohibited. Such contracts are harmful to the relationship between the donor and the institution and detrimental to the financial health of the client organization.
•Fundraising expenditures are within the authority and control of the not-for-profit organization.
•FRCI feels it is in the best interest of clients that solicitation of gifts is undertaken by Board members, staff and other volunteers.
•Subsequent to analysis or study, FRCI should engage a client only when the best interest of the client is served.
•FRCI should not profit directly or indirectly from materials provided by others, but billed to the FRCI, without disclosure to the client.
•FRCI does not engage in methods that are misleading to the public or harmful to their clients; do not make exaggerated claims of past achievement; and do not guarantee results of promise to helps clients achieve goals.
•Any potential conflict of interest should be disclosed by the firm to clients and prospective clients.
•FRCI will not acquire or maintain custody of funds and/or gifts directed to client organization.

The Giving Institute says specifically:

Fees: What specific professional fees will be billed? What is the billing schedule? What additional expenses will be reimbursed by the client, up to what amount? Fees should always be based upon services rendered. Never allow fees to be based upon the goal of the campaign. Contingency fundraising is prohibited by premier firms and eschewed by ethical consultants.

***

GJ - I imagine that people think someone from the synod is coming to help them figure out their future and accomplish their goals. Jeff Davis is on the synod boards and writes about his various activities except on his Church and Change bio. The two organizations above say, "Check references," but the most basic information about Jeff is missing from Church and Change. Why?

The pastor, circuit pastor, and district president have a fiduciary duty relationship with the congregation, which is the strictest standard of the law. There can be no conflict of interest in the handling of money.

The pastor, circuit pastor, and district president are engaging in a misdirection of the eyes. They are promoting or supporting a pan-Lutheran percentage-based business and making it look like stewardship training.

Jews have traditionally raised money based on percentages. Our Jewish friend offered to raise money for our church or any Lutheran group I knew. I said, "Randy, we do that ourselves." Jewish literature shows that the fund-raiser often pockets more than his agreed-upon percentage. See the works of Isaac B. Singer, Nobel Prize for Literature, for examples.

In the LCA, their in-house group, Lutheran Laymen's League, had a group of fund-raisers who all charged a weekly fee plus expenses. Larger churches required more time, but the fund-raiser never had dollar signs in his eyes when he helped develop pledges from millionaires. I worked in several of the campaigns in a very large church. I developed a strong dislike for the whole idea of pledging.

I also knew people from the Giving USA group. They really looked down on percentage payment. The conflict of interest problem was obvious.

When Pentecostal churches raise money, they invite stewardship gurus to manipulate their congregations. The gurus sign pledges themselves. Why not? They are working for a percentage. When the cards are gathered and counted, one of them will say to the other, "Bob I am not happy with my pledge." The other Bob says, "I am not happy either. Will the usher look up my card so I can tear it up." The Bobs tear up their pledge cards with great drama. Then they turn to the emotional audience, "Do you want yours back too?" The poor members are whipped into tearing up their pledges and writing bigger ones.

I know a Prosperity Gospel couple who discovered a $70,000 IRA they knew nothing about. They gave their minister a check for $10,000 after cashing the IRA (paying a penalty and the taxes). I begged them not to do it, but they forged ahead and later ran into huge cash-flow problems.

Do you remember the WELS stewardship video a few years ago? A man said, "God won't help me if I don't help Him." Ron Roth was running stewardship then.

If a congregation is tempted to give a percentage of the campaign to a professional fund-raiser, I suggest they contact a fee-based business and compare the cost for a set fee plus expenses.

We are entering a second Great Depression. More bad news is coming. This is a time for congregations to "Make do or do without."
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