The Why of Giving
(Posted: Monday, February 6, 2017)

My wife is much better at this than I am. Her training, experience, and a gift mix in counseling lets her delve into the reasons behind the reasons. She understands that the motivation itself has an origin that causes a chain reaction with a certain and inevitable conclusion.

Mahatma Gandhi said it this way, “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” (Emphasis added) Without swimming too deeply in the murky waters of philosophy, I wanted to bring the discussion back to fundraising.

I turned to my favorite book on development ¬– The Bible. Much of the New Testament is about two central themes: love and giving. One supports the other. I am no theologian, but I am instructed by what I read. For example, I read, “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.”

So, what does Philippians 4:17 say about raising money for a mission? Here's my view.
  • Beliefs: This passage contains truth and practical advice about giving.   
  • Thoughts: These words from about 60 AD instruct me in 2017. They mean that when people give, good stuff is in store for them. Plus, I think that these 18 words should influence why I ask people to donate to my cause.
  • Words: I ponder or meditate on those words and share them with others.
  • Actions: As I talk with donors or make plans about increasing donations, my motivation shifts.
  • Habits: My new attitude, Gifts Benefit the Giver, becomes natural over time.
  • Values: I see and esteem this approach in others. It has power and worth.
  • Destiny: How I am remembered, what I appreciate about others, and how I influence those who see my example... these are all components of a legacy. Because of my initial belief, I become known for my “giver-centered” approach to fundraising.

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