PC’s partnership with Lake Institute on Faith and Giving earns praise; offering second religious fundraising course in September

PC’s partnership with Lake Institute on Faith and Giving earns praise; offering second religious fundraising course in September


More than two dozen religious leaders from churches and faith-based institutions throughout the southeast gathered at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville last spring to learn more about the joy of giving.

Presbyterian College partnered with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Lake Institute on Faith and Giving to offer the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF) for faith leaders who wish to learn more about the spirituality of fundraising and related fundraising principles.

Approximately half of the 25 participants were clergy, while the other half were fundraising professionals or volunteers serving non-profit organizations or educational institutions. Nine were PC alumni, including the Rev. Neeley Rentz Lane ’06, the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Covington, Ga.

“This certificate program was exactly what I needed as I seek to deepen my understanding of the theology of religious fundraising,” she said. “I returned home with a plethora of resources to immediately put into practice in my church setting. I am grateful for Presbyterian College’s continued influence on my faith journey and call as a pastor.”

Instructors covered a full range of topics related to religious fundraising, including biblical and theological reflections on stewardship and giving, details and analysis on current studies and statistics related to philanthropy, models for designing fundraising campaigns, and practice in “making the ask” through role modeling exercises.

Rebecca Boland Cox, a former PC student now working in church relations in Thornwell’s Advancement Office, said the ECRF training was a valuable experience.

“It provided me with the opportunity to gain insight into the perspectives of clergy and how finances and fundraising are managed from their standpoint,” Cox said. “This knowledge is crucial in ensuring that our organization can effectively collaborate and support churches while being mindful of their internal goals. Another key takeaway was the opportunity for networking. Gathering with new and familiar faces in this environment made for some great conversations and new connections.

“Lastly, as a former Blue Hose, it brought me great joy to be a part of an event hosted by PC.”

The Rev. Dr. Buz Wilcoxon ’05, PC’s chaplain and dean of spiritual life, said the course skillfully blended philanthropy and stewardship’s spiritual and practical sides.

“The ECRF program was a wonderful opportunity for the participants to reflect deeply on the ‘why’ of generosity and to hone their skills on the ‘how’ of philanthropy and stewardship practices,” he said. “The community that formed over the course of the program created a very collaborative learning environment.

“We are so grateful to the session, staff, and congregation of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville for providing wonderful hospitality for our visitors. This first offering of the course went so well, and I am really excited for PC to continue this partnership with the Lake Institute to provide more ECRF programs for years to come.”

The ECRF provides the research, tools, and customized training to meet the growing needs of leaders in religious communities and fundraisers for faith-based organizations. The ECRF focuses on the cultural, organizational, and philanthropic practices unique to religious institutions. These practices enable donors motivated by spiritual and religious values to experience the joy of generous giving.

The next course offering will be held Sept. 18-20 at Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Ga. Use the following link to register now before the class fills up: https://apply.presby.edu/register/ecrf

For information regarding the certificate program and final project requirements, please visit www.lakeinstitute.org/ecrf.