About

My goal in life is to glorify God by using my gifts for seeing possibilities and empowering others to achieve, advance and fund their vision for their lives, churches and organizations. As a Senior Generosity Strategist with Generis, I have two decades of experience generating funds for worthy causes. My experience includes large, medium and small churches and nonprofits across the country. I held positions in advancement at Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and University of Maryland College Park. The common denominator in all of these experiences is my ability to successfully help raise the funds needed to advance the mission of each church and nonprofit organization.

As a visionary leader, my expertise includes generosity coaching, fundraising, marketing, strategic planning, external relations, Board development, and non-profit management. I helped to successfully conclude many campaigns, cumulatively raising over $1 Billion. Recently, I authored a book entitled Five Pillars of a First Class Life. Throughout my career, I worked with pastors, CEOs, philanthropists, Christian leaders, dignitaries, and celebrities. God blessed me to graduate Valedictorian from my undergraduate class at Lincoln University and also I have an MBA from the University of Delaware. My husband and I live debt free and coach others in that path including the churches and nonprofits I serve. My passions for innovation, finance and healthy living positively impact my family, the Christian community and all those I encounter.

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Reflection: Life on Pause

When you do not see progress in your life you may be at the point where your Life is on Pause.  What do you do?

  • Seek healing and inner peace
  • Be excellent where you are
  • Do what you always wanted to do still ‘never had the time’
  • Plan for success
  • Appreciate what you do have
  • Trust God
  • Be prepared to pivot.

Sometimes life goes on pause because of tragedy, significant loss (like that of a spouse or child), illness, unemployment, and or broken dreams. Still we have to push through.

 

My oldest sister experienced unbelievable loss in a two-year period.  She lost her dream job partly because she spent so much time helping to care for our ailing parents.  Before she could recover and seek other employment, her college sweetheart and husband took his last breath unexpectedly.

 

She decided not to return to their house they had shared for over thirty years.  Their house lost significant value and needed many repairs.  Before she could stand on her own again, her baby, youngest son of two, was killed suddenly in a car accident. Her son and his fiancé were about to send out announcements of their wedding.  Those wedding save the date cards became my nephew’s memorial announcement cards.  Devastated yet not destroyed, my sister trusted God and pushed through.

 

My sister’s example taught me so much about not looking at your circumstance, yet seek God’s purpose and trust Him.  She preached a sermon called “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.”

 

By the way, my sister is flying high now.  She returned to school to pursue her Masters. She also was appointed as a Pastor of a small church.  She now resides in her baby son’s former home.  My sister is a comforter to those that experience significant loss and devastation.  She is one of my ‘sheros.’

 

Questions to Answer:

  • Discuss a time your life was on pause?
  • What lessons are you able to learn from survivors?
  • Have you experienced tragedy and how are you healing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Women, Words, and Wisdom: A literary Event

Book

Five Pillars of a First Class Life

Pillar 1: Be Disciplined
Pillar 2: Be a Masterpiece
Pillar 3: Be Diligent
Pillar 4: Be Radically Generous
Pillar 5: Be Resilient

I created Five Pillars to guide you through creating a mission statement for your life so that you too can begin fulfilling your destiny and purpose. Throughout the book, there are Scripture verses and passages to serve as guiding principles for you, with additional readings at the back of the book. However, this book is for everyone who is open to learning a healthy life and fiscal lessons. In these pages, I open up and share specific circumstances and experiences that helped me mature and live a more abundant life.

Paperback available at Amazon.

Praise for Five Pillars of a First Class Life

“Having spent the last 26+ years of my life devoted to helping Christian people become more generous, I’ve seen firsthand what it means to let biblical principles guide you in overcoming financial challenges. The five pillars Carla has developed will help you make smart decisions to successfully live a generous and financially free life.”Jim Sheppard,CEO & Principal – Generis; Co-Author, Contagious Generosity: Creating A Culture Of Giving In Your Church

“Be a Masterpiece and Be Radically Generous are just two of the Five Pillars Carla teaches to show you how to live a First Class Life. Using her own life experiences, biblical references, and common sense strategies, Carla leads you on the path to self-discovery and ultimately, your life’s purpose.”Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D., Chair, National Council of Negro Women; President Emeritus, Spelman and Bennett Colleges; Co-Author, Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities

“The Five Pillars Carla teaches will help you live a generous, fiscally healthy life. The book outlines practical financial principles that will show you how small steps can empower you to achieve and fund your vision of a First Class Life.”Brenda Allen, Ph.D., President, Lincoln University, PA.

Services

CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
The traditional capital campaign approach has successfully been around for decades and continues to be an effective approach for accelerating giving and growing givers.

ONE FUND
An innovative inclusive approach to accelerating giving that grows the ‘special’ funds as well as the general fund. Flexibility in designating funds, onboarding new givers and need a fresh approach to accelerating generosity.

STRATEGY DAY
Reveals new opportunities for creating a culture of generosity.

The Strategy Day (or Generosity Audit) analyzes the habits of your overall giving climate to see what is currently working as well as where opportunities for a culture of generosity to increase might exist. The Strategy Day is a one-day experience that provides a thorough assessment of your church’s effectiveness. We try to discover what things are causing generosity to grow as well as what might be inhibiting that growth.

This one-day experience is valuable regardless of whether or not you are heading into a capital campaign. We can help your church take further steps forward in increasing generosity.

GIVING DEVELOPMENT
No church is always where they want to be with their ongoing giving.

Most pastors wonder …..How do I increase this giving number? What can you do to close the gap between the vision you have for your church and the funding that you need to carry it out on an ongoing basis?

We believe we can partner with your church to elevate the general financial resources to match that vision you have for your church.

FEASIBILITY STUDY
A Feasibility Study will help you make an informed decision on the project you’re working on based on interviews, information, and data, positioning your organization for the best possible outcome.

CAPITAL CAMPAIGNS
Is your organization planning a Capital Initiative in the near future? Are you mid-campaign and need some assistance? Maybe you’re just starting to dream and wonder if this is something that can work for you. We can help!

MAJOR GIFT DEVELOPMENT
We have extensive experience in helping you identify where this capacity exists as well as coaching you on the conversations and approach that can effectively inspire these major gifts. We will assist your organization in reaching its goals, and ultimately, bless your givers for their generosity.

DIGITAL STRATEGIES

DEVELOPMENT ASSESSMENT
A highly functioning development program allocates its resources strategically in three critical areas: annual operational, major capital, and planned gifts. How they are integrated into the fundraising program needs to be efficient and effective.

INTERIM LEADERSHIP

DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
We operate from a carefully crafted annual Development Plan. Whether your organization needs help building a Development Program and Plan from the ground up, or whether you’d like to enhance your current Development Plan, we can help. We specialize in meeting you and your organization right where you are and helping you take strategic steps forward.

ANNUAL GIVING
We will analyze the performance of your current annual giving program and make recommendations related to building capacity for annual gifts, preparing for leadership giving, stewarding donors for increased and repeated giving, and leveraging branding and communications. We help you tell stories about your organization in a way that demonstrates impact and invite new and returning givers to provide unrestricted financial support.

Resources

Click images to download each ebook.


Here are some online resources that may help:

Testimonials

I have been blessed to work with some great people representing some amazing churches and organizations. What’s all the talk about?!

“Carla Maxwell Ray’s assistance was vital in helping me to craft a wonderfully comprehensive generosity strategic plan as a part of the Lilly Initiative to Build Capacity in the Historical African American Theological Schools. Finally, she has a dynamic understanding of institutions and the critical processes that are involved in engaging and encouraging individuals to offer resources as an expression of their faith and passion for human needs and well-being.” – Vergel L. Lattimore, Ph.D, President, Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, NC

“Mrs. Ray was exactly what the Grant family needed to help us realize the potential and capacity we possessed to make this vision a reality. Mrs. Ray led the Grant family in a generosity initiative that raised $1.5 million dollars in pledges; but above that, she helped us embrace the biblical principles of generosity and sacrificial giving which will have a generational impact on our collective attitude towards giving.” – Pastor Tan C. Moss, Greater Grant Memorial AME, Jacksonville, FL

“Words cannot begin to express the depth of appreciation, gratitude, and amazement I have for Carla Maxwell Ray. In serving as the generosity consultant for First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, her performance, skills, expertise, and ability to produce far exceeded our expectations! She possesses a phenomenal capability to rally a team, define roles, and motivate them to completion.” – Pastor Jason J. Drayton, First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Buffalo, NY

“God has called Carla to leverage her two loves – building God’s kingdom and gathering resources for vision implementation- into the powerful ministry. She helped our church to receive over $1million in pledges and the funds continue to pour in because a clear vision was cast and a clear path was laid before us. God has equipped Carla to be your escort on an amazing faith journey. Are you ready?” – Pastor William H. Lamar IV, Turner Memorial AME Church, Hyattsville, MD

“This is the first time our church has ever attempted a generosity initiative and there was a lot to learn, as well as many challenges to face. Carla skillfully guided and helped us overcome every challenge. With her help, I am excited to say that we exceeded our anticipated $1 million commitment goal. The coaching and resource material provided by Carla helped inspire our small congregation to take a step of faith. Thank you, Carla!!” – Pastor Harold McKenzie, Unity Church of Jesus Christ, State College, PA

10 Reasons I chose Generis and Carla Maxwell Ray:

  1. Lasting impact of campaigns
  2. Diverse multicultural consultant pool
  3. Alignment with values of church
  4. Emphasis on developing a culture of generosity versus campaign
  5. Genuine and authentic approach
  6. Understanding big picture
  7. Christ-centered
  8. Care for church and needs
  9. Understanding how church makes disciples of men
  10. Warmth

Pastor Michael Brewster, Mt Zion Baptist, Wilkes-Barre, PA

“Carla came to Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene from Generis to conduct a Generosity Audit . . . analyzed our giving both quantitatively and strategically, arranged focus group meetings, conducted donor analytics . . . she built a plan to execute our goals and to fund my vision to expand our capacity. We exceeded our fiscal goal . . . we bought in many new donors and propelled generosity among many inconsistent givers. I call Carla an Angel sent by God.” – Reverend Samuel C.W. Vassel, D. Min., Bronx Bethany Church of Nazarene, Bronx, NY

“As a result of our work together, we feel stronger in our foundation for fundraising for the important work of our nonprofit. We appreciated the insights and suggestions you brought to our fundraising infrastructure and Board relations . . . your guidance was so valuable as we worked together on mass engagement and our annual fundraising event . . . under your tutelage our year-end campaign produced the best revenues and results ever! Your strong, focused advice and leadership will make all the difference for us as we work through this time and increase our fundraising results. Thank you, Carla. You’re the best!” – Executive Director Wanda Steptoe, New Endeavors By Women, Washington, DC

You may not know it yet, but in order to achieve your ministry goals, partnership, is not optional. Partnership is essential. And I know the right partner for you – Carla Maxwell Ray. You need the vision of a disciple of Jesus Christ who has helped to raise over $1 billion dollars for institutions as storied as Spelman College, Morehouse College, Boys and Girls Club of America, and the University of Maryland. God has called Carla to leverage her two loves – building God’s kingdom and gathering resources for vision implementation – into a powerful ministry. She helped our church to receive over $1 million in pledges and the funds continue to pour in because a clear vision was cast and a clear path was laid before us. God has equipped Carla to be your escort on an amazing faith journey. Are you ready? – Pastor William H. Lamar IV, Turner Memorial, Hyattsville, MD

“As a new president of a theological seminary your assistance and guidance was extremely helpful. This was the second time that I have used Generis to assist me with fundraising endeavors, first to assist with the Spring Creek Baptist Church capital campaign, which exceeded our expectations…second experience with you helping me double the NBTS end of year giving. I can state unequivocally that I am in a better financial and strategic position as a result of your excellent professional consultation. I will strongly recommend you and Generis to colleagues and anyone who ask for development, advancement, and financial consultation.” – President Micah L. McCreary, Ph.D., New Brunswick Theological Seminary

“Mrs. Ray was an integral part of our Development Department…led a team which not only resulted in a 68% increase in year over year contributions but also exceeded fiscal goals, and laid the foundation for an explosive growth trend exceeding the $5.7M goal by $10 Million . . . her leadership, team building skills, ability to create Stewardship campaigns and working closely with individual donors to increase contributions. She works hard and operates with very high levels of integrity and is not afraid to think out of the box. Carla was able to effectively anticipate the needs of her department and create value added strategic plans to meet these needs. I know that Carla will be an excellent addition to your organization, and wholeheartedly recommend her. – Chief Operating Officer Robert Parker, Vitamin Angels, Santa Barbara, CA

Carla’s Equation for Success

Empower clients by Educating, Equipping, and Encouraging plus Actions times Accountability equals Results (competence, revenue and spiritual growth)

E3 + 2A = R

EQUATION explanation:
Time for an equation. Don’t worry, no real math is involved!

Empower (cubed) (by Equipping, Educating and Encouraging plus 2A (Actions times Accountability) equals Results (competence, fiscal prowess, and spiritual growth).

I’m often asked what I do to help Christian organizations, churches, and their leaders realize their vision. I explain it in an “algebraic” style of the equation. The Lord revealed to me that the Es have an exponential relationship. That is, they don’t simply add to each other—they multiply each other for a powerful, vast result. In numbers, if you had 10 plus 15, you come up with only 15. But if you multiply them by each other, the result is 150. That’s the power of exponential process. Empower and build teams by equipping them with tools and biblical principles. Educate as to best practices and customized strategies. Encourage to stay the course and keep everyone’s eyes on the prize. As I coach the leadership team through the process, I help people uncover unexplored talents and capabilities. Specifically, I share tools that are customized for the church or nonprofit organization (NPO). And even more significantly, I coach them through strategies that enhance and make their efforts more effective. Still, hard work must be done to create a culture of generosity in a church or NPO. This coaching is done through Generis, a top Christian firm that accelerates generosity for God-inspired vision.

One strategy is to coach the pastor or CEO through conversations with high-capacity donors. God endows our churches with members and NPOs with supporters who have various talents. Yet many ignore the gift of wealth. Or worse yet, they don’t address disobedience in stewardship and the increasing debt among their members. Both ends of the spectrum will smother the resources needed to actualize their vision.

The two As (action and accountability) have a multiplicity relationship in that they partner as twins—twice the impact when actions are coupled with accountability. This means tasks with deadlines, follow up, reporting, milestones, etc. A lack of accountability is among the top reasons that churches and NPOs fail in executing plans. That goes for you and me, too.

The reason I do this work is the sustainable transforming change in givers’ lives. This defines the R, which results in team competence, spiritual growth and money for God-inspired vision. When we realize everything belongs to God (1 Chronicles 29:11-12), we are set free. Giving is for the believer.

God gave me this algebraic formula when I started generosity coaching to help to define my coaching quantitatively. If you created an algebraic expression for your life’s work, what would it be? What is your equation for success?

Contact

Schedule a call with Carla or use the contact form below.

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Or call my business cell: (202) 413-8143
Carla Maxwell Ray contact
My goal in life is to glorify God by using my gifts for seeing possibilities and empowering others to achieve, advance and fund their vision for their lives, churches and organizations. As a Senior Generosity Strategist with Generis, I have two decades of experience generating funds for worthy causes. My experience includes large, medium and small churches and nonprofits across the country. I held positions in advancement at Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and University of Maryland College Park. The common denominator in all of these experiences is my ability to successfully help raise the funds needed to advance the mission of each church and nonprofit organization.

As a visionary leader, my expertise includes generosity coaching, fundraising, marketing, strategic planning, external relations, Board development, and non-profit management. I helped to successfully conclude many campaigns, cumulatively raising over $1 Billion. Recently, I authored a book entitled Five Pillars of a First Class Life. Throughout my career, I worked with pastors, CEOs, philanthropists, Christian leaders, dignitaries, and celebrities. God blessed me to graduate Valedictorian from my undergraduate class at Lincoln University and also I have an MBA from the University of Delaware. My husband and I live debt free and coach others in that path including the churches and nonprofits I serve. My passions for innovation, finance and healthy living positively impact my family, the Christian community and all those I encounter.