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Department of Endowments. “A Rising Tide STILL Raises All Ships” Rev. Jacqueline Reeves, NST Rosemary Calderalo, Ph.D. NSAC Convention 2012. All presentations may be found on the NSAC web page, "Fund Raising Support,” along with Dept. of Endowment Annual Reports, tools and resources.

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department of endowments
Department of Endowments

“A Rising Tide


Raises All Ships”

Rev. Jacqueline Reeves, NST

Rosemary Calderalo, Ph.D.

NSAC Convention 2012


All presentations may be found on the NSAC web page, "Fund Raising Support,” along with Dept. of Endowment Annual Reports, tools and resources.

top 5 reasons why people give
Top 5 Reasons Why People Give
  • Because they are asked, or presented a giving opportunity.
  • Compassion for those in need.
  • Personally believe in the cause.
  • Affected by the cause/a moment that made a difference.
  • To give back to their community.

The above is based on an analysis of research in the field of philanthropy -- including Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, Independent Sector, University of Pittsburgh, and others.   

8 reasons people don t give to their local church
8 Reasons People Don’t Give to Their Local Church
  • Don’t Have a Home Church.
  • Don’t Understand the Concept of Giving
  • Not Committed to the Mission/Vision of the Church
  • Bad Church Experience.
  • Don’t Agree with How Finances are Managed.
  • Unemployed.
  • Support Other Ministries.
  • Think Others Will Do It.
fundraising friend raising foundations of effective efforts
Fundraising & Friend-raisingFoundations of Effective Efforts
  • It is within relationships that people commit their “time, talent and treasure” on a larger scale.
  • Developing a continuum of ways to raise funds: collections, events, raffles, medium’s days, spaghetti dinners….
  • Looking at what we already practice as Spiritualists, we’ll look at information that is applicable and shows that we really already know how to fundraise and friend-raise!
what gets in our way
What gets in our way?


  • We wrestle with the thought that there isn’t enough to go around.
  • We’re afraid if someone gives to national, he or she won’t give locally.
  • We’re afraid to ask; it feels rude or we make assumptions about what others can give.
  • We think that because our church doesn’t have a credit card or we ourselves don’t give online, no one else needs these tools.
lottery philosophy related to donations
Lottery Philosophy Related to Donations

You have to be in it to win! – likewise, if a person interested in Spiritualism can’t find a way to give or to register for an event on the internet, more and more they are likely not to give or mail a check in at all. Offering supporters a way to give online in a unified way is about survival.

NSAC – new directions to maximize trends

  • In 2011, “we hit the tipping point,” the majority of people in the U.S. gave their contributions online. Giving online is now such a habit that most people say they prefer it as their means, rather than by mail, by telemarketing or by other means.
  • More than half the donors 65 or older say they would give online.
  • 75% of those 35 to 64 say they would give online.
  • 86% of donors under the age of 35 prefer to give online.

From a study by The Winkler Group


Through Spiritualism

we already know how to fundraise and how to get past fears.

mediums do
  • Do come prepared - Properly Dressed, on time for the service, etc.

For conversations with supporters or potential supporters, prepare in the same way. Make sure you understand their interests and that you will present yourself in a way that conveys respect for the person and the process.

  • Do meditate and prepare yourself to receive communications prior to serving.

Make time to connect to the right reasons for the conversation; be clear on the help that is needed and that it is help that the supporter may want to give.

  • Do indicate the individual to be addressed - names are not necessary.
  • Do speak directly and loud enough to be heard by all present.
  • Do remember that the message is from Spirit and is uplifting.
  • Do remember that you are a message minister and represent Spiritualism.

In the same way you would work to be clearly heard in a service, make sure you are clear in your conversations and that you strive to approach the conversation in an uplifting manner. Let the supporter know how they can be part of a larger effort for Spirit. Make sure they feel known and heard.

mediums do1
  • Do prove the continuity of life by bringing evidential greetings from the Spirit World.
  • Do remember that during the church service messages are "a greeting and not a reading."

While the purpose of a donor/supporter conversation is not about Spirit greetings or messages, it is about Spiritualism. You must make it your responsibility to represent Spiritualism accurately; make sure you are educated on the religion, philosophy and science of Spiritualism as well as traditions and beliefs.

  • Do be Polite to other workers
  • Do be enthusiastic and positive as you are communing with the higher spheres

Politeness and enthusiasm should be givens but it bears mentioning: if you are not excited about the topic, why should the supporter? Politeness conveys respect for the gift given or being considered.

mediums do2
  • Do silently thank your Spirit Forces for sharing when you are finished.

Gratitude and appreciation in many directions is important: to Spirit, to the supporter, for the opportunity, to yourself for taking the step to involve others in supporting Spiritualism. Our supporters may not be seeking recognition or gratitude, but when it is not offered it can feel disrespectful in its absence. Offering thanks and recognition publicly when the supporter agrees helps create an atmosphere of gratitude and giving within the organization and encourages others to become more involved and to give as well.

mediums don t
Mediums Don’t:
  • Don't think you are full-fledged medium just because you feel Spirit energy - study, learn the laws, learn decorum first.

Practice helps everything – from being a medium to being a good “scout” for your church. If you’re not comfortable with asking for support, practice until it feels more normal. Consider role-playing with other members of your church who are also involved in fundraising.

  • Don't ask questions when giving a message.

If you have enough information to have sought the conversation, you won’t need to ask the basic questions about interest.

  • Don't keep asking "Do you understand."
  • Don't forget that neither you nor Spirit is infallible.

It’s okay to make mistakes; don’t be afraid to be apologize and be honest about misunderstandings. That’s what builds the road to a good partnership.

  • Don't forget that the energies also depend on the sitters present at the service.

If you are not excited and if you are not convinced that what you are asking for is important, than how can you expect the donor/supporter to want to give?

mediums don t1
Mediums Don’t:
  • Don't forget that Mediums work differently, be tolerant - there is no one right way.

Every conversation will be different because every person is different and every person has different talents and resources to offer. Money helps but there are many ways a gift can be given; perhaps someone would rather buy hymnals than give an outright cash gift. Perhaps someone without immediate access to resources may leave a gift in his or her will. Become well-versed in all the different ways to give and the different needs of your church.

  • Don't get the idea that Spirit will do all of the work - continue to develop.

Every interaction with a supporter will be different. Spirit may be helping us but the decisions to support or not support are based on human free will. We must “do our part” to ensure support and growth for our churches.

  • Don’t ever use obscene or crude language.

A given, yet when frustrated some of us may be tempted! Save it for afterward!

  • Don't ever blame Spirit for a negative thought or a poorly said message.
mediums don t2
Mediums Don’t:
  • Don't forget that you must be spiritual to attract spiritual help from the other side.

We live on the physical plane and are working our own individual paths. Sometimes it may be difficult to separate emotions, messages, ideas from what is the best for a church project or what it is best to ask of a supporter. Take the time you need to sort it out before engaging in fundraising so that conversations can be clear, honest and have the best chances of success.

  • Don't say that you are a Spiritualist medium if you use cards, crystals or tell fortunes.

Make sure if you are utilizing other modalities or beliefs to raise money, that your church is always clear about what Spiritualism is so that you do not confuse members and the public or inadvertently communicate mixed information.

as with mediumship
As with mediumship…

…donor and supporter conversations are about hope, faith and evidence. We want to develop investors, partners in service to Spiritualism. We must be able to provide the evidence that gifts are needed and will be used wisely and in the way that was intended. It’s about being in dynamic communication with the Spirit of our combined efforts, in relationship here on the physical plane for mutual benefit and mutual support for Spiritualist churches, the larger organization and Spiritualism throughout the world.

The work matters.

in summary
In summary…

A rising tide raises all ships.

Are you on board?