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News and Notes from the Director

As of October 13, 2017

As promised, here is installment #3 from PSI, catching you up on a few select items about our work and clients, and also updating you on some interesting happenings in the world of philanthropy and fundraising.

The annual tradition of a President’s Dinner is coming soon, on the evening of October 29.  This year’s featured speaker will be the Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Dr. Amir Pasic.  Our theme is one that concerns all of us who do fundraising—the better the organizational context, the better success we have with fundraising.  We will also feature a short video of leading professionals speaking about this topic and how they have addressed it.  Watch for it on this website after the dinner.  Please urge your Conference and Union presidents to come, along with other leaders with whom you interact.

Coming soon—a survey about how you wish to receive PSI news!  Please fill it out when you receive it so we know how best to serve you!

Remember the Bible text you probably memorized as a child, or at some point in your life you learned this key text… “It’s more blessed to give than to receive!”  Well, we give credence to this thought because we believe in the Bible, but now we also have secular research backing this up!!  If interested, write me at and I’ll send you some references you can use.

Academies continue to grow in fundraising and make headway—yes, I’m repeating this sentence from last time, but it’s worth repeating!!  Please remember and also share this information that PSI has many resources that can help, including a new planning form, as well as our handbook, Successful Fundraising, and countless other materials.  We also come on-site to help you!  Share and spread the news that we are ready and able to help academies move ahead!

Here is a sobering bit of news– CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY DAILY UPDATE

OCTOBER 03, 2017 Fewer Americans Find Room in Their Budgets for Charity, Chronicle Data Show.  If you don’t receive the Chronicle, ask us for info about this piece.

Featuring one of PSI’s consultants this month—our special consultants help meet the many and growing requests for PSI’s help, and we’re fortunate to have them on our team for special gigs and assistance.

Dr.  Dennis Carlson is a fundraising and leadership consultant for non-profits, focusing largely on Seventh-day Adventist entities such as local churches.  His experience in philanthropy includes four years as Vice President for Advancement at Walla Walla University and various fundraising initiatives within the church context during his years as a pastor and church leader.  He served as Vice President for Administration in both the Washington and Upper Columbia Conferences and as President of the Minnesota Conference and the Mid-American Union Conference.  He was chair of the board of Philanthropic Services for Institutions (PSI) during his time as Assistant to the President for Administration at the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.  He also served on the Advisory Committee for PSI.  He earned a B.A. in Theology from Columbia Union College (Now Washington Adventist University) and a Master of Divinity degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.  He earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Northwest Theological Union.

Until next time!

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Do you know someone interested in the field of Fundraising or someone in the field wanting a different challenge? Be sure and direct them to our JOB CENTER. There they will find not only who is hiring but also a place to have their resume posted for those seeking to hire.

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We invite you to contact PSI any time you feel you need a consultant, at any stage of your fundraising efforts. We are here for any type of help, and we can even share carefully-selected consultant names or firms.

News and Updates

Fundraising Group Offers New Online Practice Test for Certification

By Eden Stiffman

Fundraisers who want practice their test-taking skills before taking an influential professional certification examination now have a new aid. CFRE International, the organization that offers fundraising certification, has launched a new online practice exam.

“It’s something that fundraisers have been wanting for quite some time,” said Jeff Stanger, education-resources manager at CFRE International. The goal is to give fundraisers a sense of confidence before taking the four-hour, 200-question exam. It includes questions that are similar in difficulty to the actual exam.

“This won’t suddenly make it easy but will help with the confidence that you have an idea of what you’re in for,” said Mr. Stanger, adding that it will be especially helpful for people who have been out of school for some time or who struggle with test-taking.

Other Testing Options

Fundraisers are not required to get professional certification, but 6,050 of them currently hold the credential, most of them in North America. As of June of last year, 103 fundraisers received the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive credential, or ACFRE, which is administered by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Many fundraisers say the certification is helpful in seeking new jobs and higher salaries and in reassuring donors and superiors of their professionalism.

People taking the practice test will receive feedback on the questions they get right and wrong. The new tool also provides feedback specific to the test’s six subject areas:

  • Current and prospective donor research
  • Securing gifts
  • Relationship building
  • Leadership and management
  • Involvement of volunteers in fundraising
  • Ethics, accountability, and professionalism.

In addition to the full-length, 100-question practice test, people can take 20-question quizzes to assess their knowledge in specific subject areas. Fundraisers can purchase 30-day and 90-day subscriptions for the study tool.

With the real exam, scores range from 200 to 800; a passing grade is 500 or more. About 75 percent of test-takers pass on the first try, Mr. Stanger said.

CFRE International is also developing a study guide and other study tools that will be released over the next year.

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Most of the contact information that PSI will get from you in the future will come through this site. By opting into our email, you will have access to important information that PSI sends out from time to time. We’ve also included areas for you to add additional information about yourself, your organization, and your interests, in order to help us target your specific needs.

Books and Resources

Successful Fundraising

Are you planning a building project—a new church, addition, school building, or Community Service building? Do you wonder how you should go about getting the funds? Does it seem like your campaign for funds goes on forever? Are your members or constituents tired of talking about money? If you have these questions and probably many others, Successful Fundraising is for you. Explore the options below to see which edition is right for you.

Successful Fundraising: A Handbook for Best Practices

successful fundraising cover 200

Successful Fundraising – Second Edition

Successful Fundraising 2nd Edition

Recaudación de Fondos Segunda Edición


Successful Fundraising – Canadian Edition

Diversity and Philanthropy

Written by Lilya Wagner, EdD, CFRE

A “one size fits all” strategy is not effective when it comes to philanthropy and fundraising in today’s diversified environment. This book enables nonprofit leaders, board members, staff, and volunteers of nonprofit organizations to better reach diverse populations and incorporate perspectives that increase success by surveying the cultural context for philanthropic action. In the PSI Library or offered on Amazon in both Print and Kindle: Order on Amazon | View Praeger Publishers listing

To learn more...

Be sure and check out the new web site developed to coincide with Diversity and Philanthropy:

New to the library

The Ask

A completely revised edition of the must-have resource for increasing your nonprofit’s bottom line.

This thoroughly revised and updated edition of the best-selling book The Ask is filled with suggestions, guidelines, and down-to-earth advice that will give you the confidence to ask anyone for any size gift, for any purpose. Written in winning language, filled with sample dialogues, and offering a wealth of tips and tools, this book addresses common mistakes made when asking and shows how to correct each mistake, providing guidance and direction on how to make a great ask.

If you would like to check out this book or another from our library, please call Tandi Perkins 301-680-6139 or send an email to her at

Available for download

Your Future in Fundraising 242h

Your Future in Fundraising, by Dr. Lilya Wagner, is now available as a free download here:


The PSI resource center has an array of documents, samples, articles, books, and other materials that will aid your professional activity and practice.

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