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Transactional to Transformational - My Story

In the early 2000s, a friend and mentor gave me some simple yet profound advice. He suggested that prior to inviting people of affluence to give to my cause, I consider these two questions:

  • What is God doing in their lives?
  • Is the cause I’m inviting them to consider aligned with what God is doing in their lives?

At first I was skeptical. I was trained to approach fundraising with a transactional mindset, believing people had to be convinced to give.

However, I deeply respected my friend and decided to follow his advice.

Here is what I experienced two years later: I met with an individual who annually contributed large gifts to our organization’s cause. I was prepared to ask for a gift of $50,000. However, my approach was different this time around. I listened much more carefully as he updated me on his business and family.

He told me how God was doing something in his wife’s heart, prompting her to be more interested in their charitable giving. He wanted to come alongside her and support the causes she was drawn to. This is exactly what my friend and mentor intended for me to discover. God was doing something in their lives that didn’t align with my plan. So, I set aside my strategy and responded by saying "this might sound a little odd, but I’m not going to ask you for a gift. Instead, I’d like to connect you with some of the organizations your wife is interested in.” He became emotional and said “I would love for you to help us”.

"J.Paul and I have journeyed in ministry and friendship for many years. One thing I know about him, he'll shoot straight with you and work diligently to help you achieve your objectives in fundraising. His heart for the ministry of fundraising is genuine and inspiring. I've had a front row seat to several of his 'asks' and I'm always blessed by his posture of authentic care for both the giver and the cause."

Daryl Heald
Founder, Generosity Path

As you can probably imagine my boss wasn’t too thrilled about my newfound tactics. However, his mood quickly changed when he heard from the donor who began the conversation by saying, “I want to tell you what J.Paul did for us”. Over the following years this family donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to our cause. For more than twenty years I have continued to experience the joy of moving from transactional to transformational interactions with donors.

Whether you're looking to raise gifts of $5,000, $500,000, or more, I want to help you experience joy and success in major gift fundraising.

Over the past 30 years I have developed strategies that are now built into an efficient and affordable online content system. Depending on your needs there are three options you can choose to energize your efforts in fundraising:

  • The Catalyst Course - a major donor fundraising course for those who are new to the task.
  • The High-Performance Course - a major donor fundraising course for experienced professionals.
  • The Flywheel Package - a customized six month consultation for people who are leading teams of major donor fundraisers.

The Catalyst and High-Performance courses are affordable at a cost of $500 and can be done in a schedule that fits best for you, taking anywhere from six weeks to three months to complete. Everything I have learned, successes and failures, is packed into these courses for your benefit and enjoyment. I have taken hundreds of folks through this content, helping them with fundraising strategies to empower causes all over the world.

Now is the time to take advantage of these resources!  

I look forward to hearing about your good work.


— J.Paul Fridenmaker
Years of Fundraising Experience
Years Working for a Charitable Foundation
Consulting Clients Served

Welcome Video From J.Paul


When you speak to the heart and mind of your donor, you increase your chances of getting them invested in your cause. Putting together an airtight case for support will hit their brainwaves and sharing inspiring stories of transformation will stir their heart. And when you add your networking skills to the mix, you'll be a fundraising superstar in no time!


It's understandable to sometimes feel jealousy, suspicion, or even hostility towards people of affluence. Henri Nouwen in "A Spirituality of Fundraising" says prayer can help us go from hostility to hospitality. By taking time to pray for love and compassion before each meeting, learning about your donor's story, and listening to them, you can take steps towards fostering a deeper, more empathetic connection.


When donors invite you to join them on their boat or hit the slopes at their vacation home, say yes and make some unforgettable memories! Many of them love to play and it’s a fantastic opportunity to strengthen your relationship. And don’t hold back on celebrating when they give! Giving is a core part of discipleship, and when people give generously, it’s a problem for evil, and that's something worth celebrating!


J.Paul helps major gift fundraisers multiply results (and have fun doing it) with systems, psychology, sanity, and sacredness.

The Passion Project Discount

J.Paul and Julie are dedicated to causes that promote the well-being of the earth and those who are facing challenges because of poverty and/or abuse. That's why we are offering a special 10% discount on our courses and consulting to organizations that align with our passions. Please fill out the form to see if you qualify!

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Faith Driven Entrepreneur Podcast

"I have enjoyed a friendship with J.Paul for many years. This discussion we had was a highlight for me and our listeners. You'll hear his heart and passion for fundraising which is relational, sacred, and inspiring. I know folks have followed up with him and found meaningful help in their fundraising efforts."

Henry Kaestner
Founder, Faith Driven Entrepreneur

J.Paul On The Faith Driven Entrepreneur Podcast

J.Paul was a guest on one of the first episodes of the Faith Driven Entrepreneur podcast and even now, half a decade later, people are still talking about it! He shares the story of how his approach to fundraising transformed from being all about transactions to truly making a difference and how this changed the way he views his relationships with donors forever.

Listen to the Episode

Your Cause Is Worth It

Our goal is for every client to experience an exponential return on investment.

"I love the Catalyst Course. Pedagogically (I am a teacher by training) it's been beautifully put together. The course includes reading (text book), watching (video - so high quality, I started to watch the first one and could not stop, so appealing and touching!), reflecting and journaling (writing), sessions with J.Paul (speaking). It takes into consideration different learning styles. At the completion of the course the student will have learned and been transformed in his/her thinking, philosophy, theology of generosity...and ultimately fundraising strategy and practice. Regarding the relevance to us in the Finnish context, it is very relevant indeed. I don't think anybody offers anything like this here. I am happy to recommend J.Paul's course and services."

Taneli Skyttä
Refugee Ministry Specialist, Finland

"When I go through the fundamentals part of the Catalyst Course from the VIA document to systems to impact stories, it is a very well-organized set of learning systems that I learned for this endeavor. The videos with J.Paul's face appearance are like a real-life interaction in a class room setting. His teaching method speaks of rich experience. He is generous."

Anteneh Tula
CEO, True Riches Foundation, Ethiopia

"If you don't know much about fundraising, particularly with high net worth donors, this course will launch you into a whole new world. If you know a little bit about the process and have struggled with it, you will walk away from this course not just with a better process and better strategies, but your whole attitude and perspective will undergo a fundamental shift. Fundraising will shift from a 'have to' to a 'want to.'"

Henry Klopp
President, International Graduate School of Ministry

"The Catalyst Course has been life-changing for our organization. The interface is so easy to navigate and can be accessed well on my laptop, iPad, and iPhone. Our team has been applying every single tool. The course is extremely practical and give us a lot to work on as an organization, which has been super helpful. Because of the course we were able to raise an extra $126K from new donors and give solid reports to our existent donors. Thank you so much for the opening the course to us. I cannot recommend it enough."

Roman Khripunov
Executive Director, Revival Sport Inc.

"J.Paul did a short consult on fund-raising at my request. He was able to communicate complex principles and ideas in ways that were practical and achievable. He is able to work with large and small non-profits, local and global. I was able to meet my fund-raising goals using J. Paul's recommendations."

Jose De Dios
Veteran Non-Profit Executive

"Having worked with J. Paul in various capacities over the years, I have always been impressed with his ability to relate to diverse people and situations. I highly recommend him to any organization (US-based or international) looking for major donor gift growth and acquisition."

Brian O'Connell
Founder/CEO, REACT Services

"J. Paul is one of the most savvy, intuitive, clear-thinking consultants I've been privileged to work with. Any time spent, (literally), with J. Paul is money well spent! Highly recommend him if you're in need of Development expertise, whether a start up or seasoned non-profit, he'll steer you clear and results will soon follow!"

David Carlson
Major Gift Officer, Medical Teams International and Agros International
A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen

A Life-Changing Book You Can Read In One Sitting

J.Paul wants to make sure you're fully prepared before diving into any courses or a, that's why he strongly recommends reading "A Spirituality of Fundraising" by Henri Nouwen.

This book will help you see fundraising in a new light. Nouwen says, "Fundraising is, first and foremost, a ministry." If you agree with this, you'll love working with J.Paul.

Buy The Book