Takes the fear out of "the art of the ask"
Every major gift is planned, and every planned gift is major, so this book intentionally blurs those lines with the premise that if you know how to identify, evaluate, cultivate, and finally ask for the gift, it does not matter if it is a major gift or is a will inclusion leaving the details of bequests to the donors, their lawyers, and accountants. Clergy and others need help learning how to "make the ask" before the remaining generous generations of capacity die, having given their gifts to the non-profits and schools so willing and prepared to ask for them. LaFond recounts, "I remember sitting with a beloved, dying parishioner who turned to me in her last three hours and quietly said 'I wish I had remembered the church in my will.' I asked why she had not and she said, sweetly, 'They never asked, and everyone else did, and so thoroughly.'"
Clergy and lay leaders are terrified of asking for major and planned gifts while parishes need them and donors need to give them. Clergy are not taught in seminary how to do this essential work of ministry. LaFond, in his various roles, is filling that educational gap.
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"Reading Charles LaFond's Fearless Major Gifts is like having a conversation with a trusted friend who offers his expertise and experience on how to get comfortable and be effective in asking for major gifts. I felt informed, encouraged, and supported by this logic with heart approach to helping donors enable their dreams for their communities."
—Leandra Lee, retired banker, Episcopal Church lay volunteer
"Charles LaFond shares the nuts and bolts of the task of raising significant funds while holding out the importance of not abandoning the Body of Christ to the messaging of our culture. He gives a Gospel-focused vision for forging deep relationships from which will flow the meaning-making gifts that fund ministry."
—The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Georgia
"With a wealth of stories, prayers, and practical resources, LaFond demonstrates where the focus needs to be: on relationship, meaning-making, listening, and co-creating. My next requests will be more joyful and life-affirming because of this energizing work."
—The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan, The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
"Charles LaFond's approach is refreshingly frank on the mechanics of fundraising and 'making the ask,' while also being firmly rooted in the Gospel imperatives of relationship and stewardship. This book could be the difference between a thriving church and terminal decline."
—Rev. Jon M. White, Rector, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Camillus, New York, and Managing Editor of the Episcopal Café