Ready to Grow?

Fundraising Book: Giving and Getting in the Kingdom by Mark Dillon

Posted by Scott Barron on Apr 20, 2016 11:16:40 AM
Scott Barron

Fundraising is a top priority for many school leaders, so you may be looking for a way to improve your approach to donor cultivation. If you are connected with a Christian or similar faith-based school, I highly recommend the book, Giving and Getting in the Kingdom: A Field Guide, by Mark Dillon.

Giving_and_Getting_Book_Cover.jpgMark is an unusually talented fundraising expert. He served in the development office at Wheaton College for 19 years, most recently as the VP of Advancement and Alumni Relations. Having led capital and annual fund campaigns that raised hundreds of millions of dollars, Mark is fully qualified to give advice on this topic.

He is now the Executive Vice President of the Christian Education and Non-Profit division at Generis, an Atlanta-based fundraising consulting company that advances the missions of churches, Christian schools, colleges, seminaries, universities, and non-profit organizations.

Interview with Mark

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark about Giving & Getting to gain a deeper understanding of his strategies for fundraising.



Q: What is your background story?

I've been doing fundraising for vitually my whole career. When faced with the decision of going into church ministry or working on the staff at Trinity Seminar, I opted for campus leadership. Starting out in student development was a good experience, but after a few years the president asked me to help him with a capital campaign that originally was scheduled for two years. During that experience I learned the principles of effective fundraising and campaign management. I was good enough at fundraising to turn a two year job into one that lasted ten years.

I was then invited to join Wheaton College--which was a big pivot point for me. I led a development team of about 65 people through three major capital campaigns over 19 years. After completing my work there, I then served at the American Bible Society, and then in 2015 joined the leadership team at Generis.

Q: It sounds like you gained a real passion for development work?

Absolutely--you have to have a passion for fundraising to do it well. Some people say, "I could do just about anything but fundraising." What people don't understand is, and I say this all the time, when you're working with truly thoughtful givers, you're working with some of the greatest people in the world. They have a lot figured out about life and priorties, so they build into your life as much as you're able to build into theirs.

Q: Is fundraising helping people discover that joy of giving?

Absolutely! People have the misconception that fundraising is talking people out of money they don't want to give and it's so far from that. It's matching the vision of the giver with the vision of the organization for the good of both. I think in God's equation, God is fundamentally a giver and He wants his children to be givers too. If we can help, through the fundraising process, people be obedient to Christ in their giving, then we have served our institutions and God's people as well. 

Q: Who was the intended audience for your book?

Those involved in fundraising or those who aspire to be involved in fundraising. Some givers will find this book useful, as well. The primary audience is heads of schools, development officers, board members, or major gifts officers who want a theological understanding for what they do in serving their institutions. We give them practical tools in this book to help them succeed.

Q: So you've tried to equip fundraisers to be more successful?

Exactly--probably the best thing about having written the book is the letters and emails I get from people who say that reading the book helped them put it all together to be more effective. That is deeply satisfying to me.

For example, one person who read the book shared how it helped him understand how fundraising is actually ministry, how it's serving people, and now he's the star of that development office. 

To learn more, email Mark Dillon at, and tell him you saw his interview on 

Topics: Fundraising

Subscribe to Weekly Email Updates

Recent Posts