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Staff Profile: Baas takes on advancement duties

John Baas

John Baas

John Baas has enjoyed getting to know the many people in the Dordt College campus community since arriving in July. And now he’s now looking forward to getting to know more people in Dordt’s broader supporting community.

Since his first visit to campus more than a year ago, Baas has been impressed with Dordt College and its passion for offering a Reformed Christian education.

“There is something unique here,” he says. “The strong world and life view approach is something most institutions don’t offer. The more I got to know Dordt College, its history, and where it stands, the more pleased I was to become a part of this community.” Baas says that doors kept opening, and he felt a clear call to take the position he now holds.

Baas came to Dordt from Calvin College where he served as a major gifts fund raiser for the past twelve years. Although he also spent eight years in sales, Baas says he couldn’t “sell” something he didn’t believe in. He feels like he’s switching teams, but involved in a similarly important endeavor by coming to Dordt. As he comes to appreciate the unique contributions that Dordt College has to offer, he is eager to help the college find the resources it needs to continue to grow as an excellent and respected academic institution of Christian higher education.

“My approach to fund raising is relational,” he says. People give out of their passion and sense of commitment, he believes, but they give to people who help them understand what the college is about—what its plans and dreams are; they give to people they trust will make sure that money will be used well.

Based on the recently completed strategic plan and considering the trends away from government and foundation grants and funding, Baas says that Dordt College will need to appeal to its supporters.

He is eager to help spread the word about the kind of education Dordt offers to an even broader constituency.

“The Reformed world and life view and its application are too good to keep to ourselves,” he says. “We need to find ways to attract people who wouldn’t necessarily come because of family or other connections but who are looking to apply their faith to their education and vocation. There are people like that in many Christian communities.”

Like any family that makes a major move, Baas, his wife, Beth, and their four children miss the people and relationships that they’ve left, but they have also experienced a great strength of Dordt College, its strong community.

“The Dordt College and Sioux Center communities have been warm in their expressions of welcome and support,” he says. He’s already come to appreciate the beauty of Dordt’s rural setting and expects others unfamiliar with the college to have a similar reaction.