Last fall I attended the Anabaptist Communicator’s Conference. This is an annual gathering drawing communicators from MC USA and MC Canada including editors, writers, recruiters, pastors, directors and many more people looking to enhance their communications with our Anabaptist sisters and brothers.
One seminar I attended was lead by Rebekah Burch Basinger. She has been instrumental in guiding Mennonite Women USA in powerful asking which results in generous giving. Her seminar “Fundraising and Storytelling: Asking that Touches Hearts and Inspires Imaginations” was brilliant. Even though I am not at the forefront of asking individuals for support, I am part of the creation of communications, so her seminar was particularly relevant.
Rebekah lead with this truth about storytelling as part of fundraising: Continue reading
This article by Anita Hooley Yoder originally appeared in The Mennonite. Look for a book by Anita Hooley Yoder in summer 2017 about Mennonite Women USA.
Rhoda Keener was a reluctant fundraiser.
“I would tease her that our meetings felt more like therapy sessions,” said Rebekah Basinger, an organizational consultant. “And she’s the trained counselor!”
Basinger started working regularly with Keener in 2003, about two years after Keener became director of Mennonite Women USA (formerly Mennonite Women), the denominational women’s organization of Mennonite Church USA. Basinger shared her understanding of fundraising as a ministry, a spiritual act in itself, not something you just add on to help you do ministry.
“That really resonated with Rhoda,” Basinger said in a January 2015 interview. “She shaped her whole approach to fundraising around that idea. And I really believe that’s been the key to the success.”
The “success” Basinger refers to is the transformation of Mennonite Women USA (MW USA) from a floundering organization—like many of today’s church-related groups—to a now stable and relatively thriving one, financially and otherwise.