Cross-Cultural Partnerships

Navigating the Complexities of Money and Mission

by Mary T. Lederleitner

Nothing derails global partnerships more quickly than cultural misunderstandings about finances. North Americans don’t understand cultural expectations of patronage, and Western money often comes with subtle strings attached. So local mission work is hampered by perceived paternalism, and donors are frustrated with lack of results or accountability. How do we build financial partnerships for effective mission without fostering neo-colonialism? Cross-cultural specialist Mary Lederleitner brings missiological and financial expertise to explain how global mission efforts can be funded with integrity, mutuality, and transparency. Bringing together social science research, biblical principles, and on-the-ground examples, she presents best practices for funding partnerships that foster dignity, build capacity, and work toward long-term sustainability. Lederleitner also addresses particular problems like a misallocation of funds, embezzlement, and fraud.

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    by Mary T. Lederleitner

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About the Author

by Mary T. Lederleitner

Mary T. Lederleitner is founder and executive director of Missional Intelligence. She has a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an MA in intercultural studies from Wheaton College, and teaches as an adjunct professor at both institutions.

She is a veteran mission leader and researcher who has served for two decades with the Wycliffe Global Alliance in a variety of international leadership roles. She serves on the OM Global Board and as a board member for Catalyst Services. She is also the author of Cross-Cultural Partnerships. ​