I am concerned about the psychology and energy that organizations go through to get people to give more. I see it even from organizations I really like, ones that are doing good work and deserve my support. All the fundraising has become so much noise. I got 8 emails on Christmas day from organizations asking for money. On “Giving Tuesday” I got over 90. You may have had the same experience - and you probably think this blog is another appeal for giving. It is not.
I like to support people who are doing work I care about, but I don’t want to be thought of as a “donor”. I recently Googled ‘how to be a good donor’, and most of the hits were on how fundraisers can get people to give more! The few sites that offered advice to donors gave mostly bad advice. Christians should think differently about giving than the world does, but unfortunately we don’t. Let’s change that!
The Bible doesn’t teach us to “get people to give”. But it has a lot to say about being generous. As followers of Christ, generosity is in our spiritual DNA. Our Father is the most generous of all, so it follows that His children should be, too. Here is the first of several principles I have seen that inform how I want to think and act as I consider giving.
#1: The Goal of Giving should be to Glorify God.
There may be a compelling need. You may be impressed with the efficiency of an organization. Or you might just like their pictures. But ultimately, we should give in a way that brings glory to God. Paul writing to the Corinthian church about giving, says “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God…others will praise God for your obedience…” (2 Cor 9:12-13)
I want to give to people who will thank God for the gift; or I want to give in a way that lets them know that God cares about them. “Thank yous” should be less important to us than “Thank God”. Make the goal of your giving be to bring glory to God.
I want to be a better giver. If you have insights, I would love to hear them. Let’s grow in this together.
In Christ’s love,
Chief Executive Officer