Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Nonprofits to get fundraising training


Training on Jan. 29 will bring together specific leaders of United Methodist-related nonprofits in the state to learn from certified fundraising consultant Clif Christopher.

The Gathering will be at the United Way of Central Oklahoma, 1444 NW 28th St., Oklahoma City, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that Friday. The office is three blocks north of the United Methodist Ministry Center.

A year and a half ago, the Oklahoma Conference made the bold decision to realign its budget, to more closely reflect its priority of helping new, younger, and more diverse people grow into world-changing disciples of Jesus Christ.

"In beginning to do so, we have listened to our existing institutions tell us they may need help in becoming more excellent in their work," said Craig Stinson, director of Connectional Ministries. "Although each group is unique, there are some things we are hearing from many of them."

He shared these:

  1. How to expand a ministry’s reach, so that more people know about and become stakeholders in the work;

  2. How to tell stories of changed lives so that others, even those outside the church, will invest in the ministry;

  3. The need to be excellent in governance, such as identifying what makes a good board member; and

  4. How to manage funds in the best way.

"We have good resources" to inform in those areas, said Treasurer Brian Bakeman. "The more we can help each other, the more efficient and effective we become. Everybody doesn’t need their own development officer, but we need development people."

The Gathering will benefit executive staff and board members of campus ministries, senior living centers, prison ministries, mission agencies, etc., said Rev. Bakeman. It is not designed for local churches.

By invitation, about 100 people are expected.

The program is a collaboration by Circle of Care, Connectional Ministries, and the Treasurer’s Office. Rev. Dr. Christopher’s presentation is made possible by the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation.

Christopher has worked with hundreds of church entities, in more than 30 states, and secured more than $500 million for clients as CEO of Horizons Stewardship Co., after a rewarding pastoral career. His three books include "Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate" (Abingdon Press), and his blog is featured in MinistryMatters.com.

The January event targets fundraising, but "we’re hoping this develops into an organization," Bakeman said.


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