Soul of the Helper:
Seven Stages of Seeing the Sacred Within Yourself So You Can See It In Others
By Holly K. Oxhandler, Ph.D.
Templeton Press, 2022
Parents, public servants, faith leaders, and helpers of all kinds need to recognize and heal what’s within themselves in order to recognize and heal what’s within those they serve. That’s the thesis of Soul of the Helper: Seven Stages of Seeing the Sacred Within Yourself So You Can See It In Others (Templeton Press, 2022). It’s also the basis for Namaste Theory, a theory Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., developed during her research on mental health care providers. (The Sanskrit word will be familiar to yoga practitioners as “the Sacred in me sees the Sacred in you.”)
Oxhandler, an associate professor and associate dean at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, widens her focus in this book to address “helpers”—an audience that potentially includes everyone. To avoid burnout and to provide better care to others, helpers must attend to their own spiritual and mental health. This book offers a framework of seven stages that helps helpers do just that.
By treating oneself with compassion and understanding, Oxhandler contends, helpers can overcome the feeling that they’ll never do enough; self-compassion and understanding can ground and sustain one’s outward efforts. Reflection questions and well-told stories from the author’s own life, as well as wisdom from spiritual guides such as Henri Nouwen, Sue Monk Kidd, Richard Rohr, Brené Brown, and Mr. Rogers, combine to underscore that, just like those they serve, helpers are worthy, they are loved, and they are, inherently, enough.
Turning Donors into Partners:
Principles of Fundraising You’ll Actually Enjoy
By Brad Layland
InterVarsity Press, 2023
Veteran fundraiser Brad Layland remembers his first fundraising attempt, when he needed to raise $5,000 to join the student staff of Young Life at the University of Florida. After two weeks, he’d brought in just $100. “I was convinced that fundraising wasn’t for me, and I wasn’t good at it,” he writes in the introduction. But serendipitously, a YL staffer was going to a training for a fundraising program called Taking Donors Seriously (TDS) and invited Layland along. That training changed his mindset and career path.
Turning Donors into Partners: Principles of Fundraising You’ll Actually Enjoy (InterVarsity Press, 2023) sets out principles he learned at that training and provides a wealth of insight drawn from three decades of fundraising and consulting. Layland introduces readers to the TDS framework, which he champions to development professionals through his work as Chief Executive Officer of the FOCUS Group.
Throughout the book, Layland emphasizes fundraising’s relational aspect. Turning donors into partners requires approaching them as individuals. What kind of interaction will work for each donor? How do you schedule your outreach efforts? What level of ask can you make?
Practical and full of clear advice (including some from Layland’s experience of fundraising by running marathons), Turning Partners into Donors is worthwhile for anyone connected to a nonprofit organization, whether or not they are officially tasked with raising money.
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