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Happy Surprises: Help Others Discover the Joy of Giving

by David L. Heetland



ISBN: 9781945935572




ISBN: 9781945935572


Helping people experience generosity always yields happy surprises.

According to author David L. Heetland, people want to give, and this book shows how to turn these generous intentions into tangible help for nonprofit organizations. While many leaders are reluctant to make appeals for money, Heetland says that people want to support worthy causes and leave a legacy. This practical step-by-step guide is packed with real-life stories about what works to create and sustain long-term personal relationships with donors. The book shows nonprofit leaders, development and university staff, pastors, campus ministers, fundraisers, and other professionals how to approach and cultivate a donor base to build a more viable and hopeful future. Help people give with intention and share in the joy.

David L. Heetland is Senior Vice President for Planned Giving at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. His books include: Seminary Development News: The First Ten Years and Fundamentals of Fund Raising: A Primer for Church Leaders.

Praise for Happy Surprises

Happy Surprises is a gift of wisdom and rare practical insight for all fundraisers, particularly for those engaged in fundraising for religious institutions. Drawing on his years of experience as a highly successful fundraiser, David Heetland’s book is a primer for the how’s for building an effective fundraising organization. Most of all, his stories underscore the key to all fundraising: solicitors who know how to connect and sustain long-term personal relationships with donors. This is a book I would give to every new development officer.
William G. Enright, Founding Director Emeritus, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University

A book of inspiring stories from a long and successful career in fundraising. Happy surprises yes, but more than that, they are the result of David’s commitment to provide genuine ministry and build authentic relationships with donors.
Ron Gunden, Partner, Gonser Gerber LLP

David Heetland has given us delightful snapshots of generous people who have translated their hopes for the church into tangible help for preparing future spiritual leaders. Seeking to be a blessing, these donors have themselves been blessed by the knowledge of the difference these leaders can make in the future of the church.
Neal Fisher, President Emeritus, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

David Heetland has compiled a remarkable set of whimsical and insightful stories from his thirty-six-year career as a senior development officer. Careful listening coupled with thoughtful persistence identifies donor needs and interests that open the door to an organizational relationship. Heetland’s style and narratives invite readers to reflect on their own experiences and gain new insights. Advancement professionals seeking to attract new friends and deepened constituent relationships for their organization will find great value in Heetland’s reflections.
James Beddow, President Emeritus, Dakota Wesleyan University

David Heetland shows not only that he understands the dynamics of philanthropy, but also the value of maintaining consistent personal, face-to-face connections with donors and friends. This has been one of the keys to success, and David presents these stories in an articulate and persuasive manner. Many examples for anyone involved in fundraising to follow.
Russ Weigand, Retired consultant for philanthropy

David Heetland offers us a delightful collection of real-life stories about his experiences in fundraising. These stories will give you an insight into his systematic method of cultivating donors. But more important, they will inspire you to see possibilities you might not have imagined. I know. I was with him, trembling, as we made a $5 million ask. And the result of the ask was a very happy surprise!
Ted Campbell, Professor of Church History, Perkins School of Theology, and former president at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

David Heetland’s thirty-six consecutive years as chief fundraising officer for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary are nearly unprecedented in contemporary higher education. His stories here demonstrate the joys and successes that can come from a commitment to cultivate and steward donors and prospects over an extended period of time. Perhaps one of the outcomes of this volume could be a new understanding on the part of both institutions and fundraising professionals that success is achieved through such long-term relationships in contrast to the “revolving door” of frequent job changes that is so often the case today.
William R. Hausman, Former Senior Vice President, Campbell & Company

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