With the attention to appropriate and telling details for which he is famous, Lyle Schaller begins this book by pointing out an overlapping set of changes that have taken place in American society and American churches in recent years. First, to the traditional economic activities of gathering commodities and producing and selling goods and services, the economy has added the production and distribution of knowledge and the creation and sale of experiences. Second has been the rise of consumerism, an increase in the power of consumers at the expense of producers of goods and services. Third is the extraordinary number of individuals in North American society with considerable amounts of discretionary income.
What does this mean to you and your church? Simply this, says Schaller: old patterns of fund-raising and old assumptions about stewardship will no longer work. Charitable giving today is based on a complex set of factors, including the growing opinion that it is the giver, rather than the receiving institution, that should have full and final control of how the gift is appropriated. In this informative guide to fund-raising in the new economy, Schaller helps the reader navigate through the difficulties and opportunities for churches in this new age of charitable giving.