Monday, February 25, 2008

Fundraising, capitalism, and methodology

This just interesting commentary from Bradley Wright on the seeming zero sum game that social movements get into in vying for attention in the public sphere. He uses as an example this very funny commercial put together by International Panda Rescue.

It's funny, and yet so true. Many nonprofits (churches included) see themselves in a zero sum competition with other nonprofits for resources (attention, volunteers, dollars....etc).

Now, my understanding is a little bit different. First, I understand that the soveriegn God reigns over all...he has the proverbial "cattle on a thousand hills" and can provide for our church's (or any of your nonprofit's) resources. So first and foremost, a prayerfulness and reliance and dependence upon God is key.

Then, my understanding of the "marketplace of resources" is a little bit different. We don't have a fixed slice of pie that we're all competing for our share. We don't have to play a zero sum game. If we in nonprofits can be a little bit smarter about how we use resources, then theoretically the pie grows and everybody wins (this is basic capitalism, is it not?) I actively encourage our members to be involved in nonprofits beyond the church...but I remind them that their service there is ministry. If someone doesn't have time to come to a church event because they're serving in another capacity....all to the good. I truly believe that in the end we'll benefit all the greater.

So, I'm not so sure that the idea of "don't save the pandas" (as in the above commercial) is all that hot of an idea.

I don't know...what do you all think?