Two months into his role as president, G. Douglass Lewis received the news that Wesley Theological Seminary was in debt. So, with the help of his development consultant and the Wesley staff, Lewis set forth a strategic plan for a program that would address their lack of fundraising ability.

Lewis attributes the success of their program to three basic building blocks: hands-on presidential involvement, an excellent staff that was dedicated to the goals of the program, and regular meetings with the consultant to hold the institution accountable.

The payoff from Wesley’s fundraising efforts far exceeded their expectations in both the first few years and for years after.

Lewis and the rest of the Wesley staff followed four techniques to help achieve their ambitious goals:

  • Identify prospective supporters.
  • Cultivate long-term relationships.
  • Ask clearly and let the donor decide.
  • Express gratitude as quickly as possible.

Do you want to improve your organization’s fundraising ability? In Trust magazine features an article by Lewis sharing how Wesley Seminary tackled their personal fundraising concerns. Read it here.

For more resources from In Trust magazine, read the Autumn 2015 issue, or visit the In Trust magazine archive to see all past publications.