Editor’s note: In the Spring 2015 issue of JACL, we published an article by Michael Toupin titled “Characteristics of Major Donors for Bible Translation.” That article reported research showing the relationship between giving and major donor categories based on age, education, marital status, and financial capacity. The most significant finding was that donors with the highest sense of involvement tended to give at the highest levels. Stated another way, those with the highest levels of giving reported the greatest levels of participation in the community of donors associated with the work of The Seed Company (an organization that supports major Bible translation work).
Because of the importance of development work, we invited two individuals who are heavily involved in fundraising to respond to Toupin’s article: Lilya Wagner, Director of Philanthropic Service for Institutions, an internal consulting group committed to Seventh-day Adventist philanthropy; and Albert Reyes, President and CEO of Buckner International, a global Christian ministry that provides humanitarian aid. We were especially interested in adding to the understanding of what makes development work effective. Finally, we also asked Toupin to continue sharing his thinking on the rationale, nature and basic biblical grounding of philanthropic work.