Our community is awash with spring fundraisers. It seems like the majority of the churches are having spring-break mission trips. All of the the nonprofits are targeting tax-return season. It can be overwhelming, and if you are not careful, you can become a bit jaded or bitter towards the requests or potential requests you are receiving. However, if you have a plan for your finances (specifically your giving dollars), this can be one of the greatest times of the year for you. Giving opportunities, when you have money set aside for giving, are some of the more encouraging uses of your finances. It’s like being a kid in a candy store with a little change!
I heard of a man recently say, “I wish all these kids would stop sending me letters about their mission trips.”
Is he really hoping that mission trips go away? Is he really hoping that the next generation of church leaders don’t get training and exposure to what God is doing in the world? This is an illustration of a person who has not decided on where he is planning on investing his missions’ dollars, or worse, maybe he doesn’t have a plan to invest in missions at all. Sad!
One of the signs of a healthy financial system is generosity as is evidenced by giving to causes near and dear to your heart
The same kind of conversations happen around community-based non-profits. Many in our community have not decided which local non-profit they are going to invest in, or they don’t have a plan to invest in non-profits. One of the signs of a healthy financial system is generosity as is evidenced by giving to causes near and dear to your heart!
Our area is hosting a single-day giving event called NWA Gives that is a concerted effort to help groups serving our community raise some much needed money.
I am sure there will be some antagonists who, out of sense of guilt, frustration, or ambivalence, will wish this away as well. Are they prepared for our local non-profits to go away? Groups who serve our battered and broken. Our veterans. Our children. Our families. Our elderly. I, for one, am not!
Many of us think the government or other foundations are the biggest source of income for these kind of groups, but, in reality, it the collective generosity of individuals that is the core of generosity in America. Read this article for some direction.
There is a passage in the Bible that speaks to this a bit. Paul was heading up a regional giving campaign called Corinth Gives and was raising some money for the poor in Jerusalem. He writes in 2 Corinthians 9
6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
I love that truth. Figure out what you want to give and do it with a great attitude. Not with a sense of guilt or because someone asked, but because you want to. Do something for someone else who needs your help!
As we have been working on this NWA Gives campaign, we have batted around the idea– what would it take to be known as the most generous area in the state? Or even in the country? How do we reach that level?
Here are 3 ideas for how you can purposefully give back to your community:
- Pick at least one non-profit or cause to give to each year. Give some money!
- Pick at least one non-profit or cause to volunteer for each year. Give some time!
- Pick at least one non-profit to advocate for each year. Give some influence!
You have to figure out what is near and dear to your heart, but, for goodness sake, give something… money, time and influence are good places to start.