Mendication: Mark’s Shameless Fundraising Push

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : April 14, 2007

Let me be clear: I suck at fundraising.  For some reason, I lack the ability to appeal to mainstream people in such a way that they want to give me money to do the sorts of ministry that I do.  I tend to do ministry in the margins (except for my ministry to students, who are certainly mainstream, though are temporarily poor).

The stuff I do has oft been described as “fringe” by the evangelical mainstream.  That is complicated by the fact that I use strange and/or big words.  None of this is especially off putting to the people I serve.  But it is indeed off putting for respectable evangelical types (especially of the suburban variety). 

Nevertheless, my livelihood depends upon fundraising.  And my livelihood hasn’t been very lively lately.  So I’m asking for your help.  Once again, I feel like a cyber-Franciscan, asking for alms (hence the punny title for this post, a play on the word “mendicant”). 

Let me lay out what it is I do, followed by how you can help me do ministry (and continue to live in a house and eat food while I do so).

WHAT MARK DOES (what you could be paying for!)

  1. I am the founding member and leader of a neo-monastic anabaptist community in the Cedar/Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis (Missio Dei).  It is a diverse neighborhood with diverse needs.  My work there includes: teaching, writing, radical hospitality (we take in folks in need and provide shelter and food).  I do a lot of the food preparation for community meals. I lead our community as we reach out to folks that would normally fall through the cracks (homeless folks, East Africans, gutter-punks, and all manner of fringefolk). We also have a number of projects in the works (contact me if you want to know what those are). I don’t receive an income for my work with Missio Dei.
  2. I am a campus minister in the same neighborhood with InterVarsity.  My job is to plant a new InterVarsity chapter at the University of Minnesota West Bank.  That will involve building relationships with students, leading a large group, and discipling students.  We’re in the process of getting a ministry house in our neighbohood where students will live as they find a balance between reaching out to their fellow classmates as well as serve the marginalized in our neighborhood.  It will very much be in the same vein as my work with Missio Dei.  I’m supposed to raise $4200/month.  I’m half way there.  We’re launching this autumn.  In the meantime, I speak regularly at InterVarsity chapters in Minnesota, and provide a lovingly subversive influence within InterVarsity.  :)
  3. I am the coordinator for the Twin Cities Emergent Cohort. I take care of communications and web presence, facilitate our gatherings, find presenters, etc.
  4. I speak and write.  You can see where I’ll be speaking next here.  Besides writing on this blog, I have a few writing projects (The Jesus Manifesto, the Missio Dei Book of Prayer, and Monasticism Remixed).  Stay tuned for publication info.
  5. I also throw conferences (like the Christianity in a Consumer Cultuere Conference last spring, or next spring’s Jesus and Justice Conference).


  1. Tip me in my new tip jar (upper right corner of this blog).
  2. Support me in my work with InterVarsity. To do so, go to From there, you can choose your giving method (EFT, Mail, Credit, etc.). My fundraising goal is to raise $2,000/month in new funds by the end of the summer.  This will mostly seal up my InterVarsity fundraising efforts, covering the expenses of campus ministry and my income.
  3. Invite me to come speak at your church or organization.  I have a list of possible topics on the bottom of my about page.
  4. You can tell your friends about this blog and my ministry.  The more people I know, the more chances to speak and fundraise!

for further reading . . .

  • None Found


4 Responses to “Mendication: Mark’s Shameless Fundraising Push”

  1. ron on April 14th, 2007 5:02 pm

    Hi Mark, from way out west on a small island off the wesy coast of Canada. Question…is it better fro me to give through the above link you mention, or through paypal on your site here? Anyways, let me know. I really love what your doing brother. Peace…Ron+

  2. markvans on April 14th, 2007 5:13 pm

    Thanks for asking Ron! I think for now I’d prefer that you give through the link above. Thank you for your kind words!

  3. Richard Daley on April 14th, 2007 6:37 pm

    Here’s a direct link to support Mark through InterVarsity

  4. Michael Westmoreland-White on April 15th, 2007 8:41 pm

    Alas! I am in a similar position to you. If I get any birthday money, I’ll send some to you.

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