What your organization believes about money impacts everything.


What guides your organization’s development goals?

We make decisions every day that are driven by our beliefs and values. As leaders of organizations, what we believe about money, donors, development, and generosity (whether we realize it or not!) will weave itself into the DNA of our ministries and non-profits. 

The principles that guide our development decisions can be summarized in a written document called a Theology of Advancement. 

Take a few moments to think about this in the context of your organization. We’ve broken up our recommended resources into three sections based on how much time you have to dedicate to the topic, ranging from 5 minutes to an afternoon without Zoom meetings.

What is a Theology of Advancement?

A Theology of Advancement is a written statement of the values and philosophy that motivate an organization’s development goals. As a Christian organization, a Theology of Advancement should be built on Scripture verses/passages that inform your organization’s values and practices. 

As a leader of a church/nonprofit, you understand the importance of generosity because you see the impact it makes in your organization and the lives of people… both those you serve and those who give. 

However, not everyone who is associated with your organization has a front-row seat to the impact that is made through generosity. Having an established Theology of Advancement statement helps every staff member, donor, and volunteer to write, speak, and live out your organization’s philosophy of generosity with consistency and confidence. A Theology of Advancement:

Why is a Theology of Advancement important?

  • It provides a visionary standard for development
  • For churches, it serves as a tool for discipling congregants in greater generosity
  • It enriches conversations with donors by providing a biblical framework
  • It provides accountability to the organization in stewarding resources according to God’s principles
  • It increases donor/stakeholder trust in the organization

Questions to answer in a of Theology of Advancement

  • What are some key Bible verses/passages that are the foundation of what you do?
  • Which verses inspire you to greater generosity?  
  • What are the key principles of generosity that emerge from these verses/passages?
  • What does your organization believe regarding stewardship and biblical generosity?
  • How can you integrate this theology into your fundraising efforts

Create your own Theology of Advancement!

If your organization does not yet have a written statement that expresses your beliefs about generosity, consider meeting with your key leadership and creating one with the examples below.

Take some time during your lunch break this week to check out a sample Theology of Advancement resource from Mortar Stone. This example highlights biblical truths and Scripture references to inspire you as you consider what your own organization’s Theology of Advancement may look like. 

NOTE: This example was crafted specifically with churches in mind, but the principles apply to NPOs as well.