The Spirituality of Giving

As the Executive Director of one nonprofit, the Director of Outreach for another, and a supporter of many others, I can honestly say that I love both giving and receiving monetary donations.

For many, giving to a charitable organization is not only a way for them to support their mission and vision for their community or our world, but it is also a “holy” act; something that directly connects them to their faith.  Rev. Billy Graham once said, “Tell me what you think about money and I can tell you what you think about God.”  Those who donate to good causes are definitely making a statement about their passions and priorities, which often directly connects to one’s faith or spirituality.

I donate to organizations that work to address the root causes of poverty, because my faith teaches me to “feed the hungry” (Mt. 25).  I donate to organizations that practice bridge-building, because my faith teaches we are all God’s children, regardless of political party, ideology or platform.  Like Rev. Graham indicated, my personal giving will give you some pretty good insights about my spirituality and how I feel I am being called to respond to the needs of the world.

Whether it’s one of the organizations I work for or am associated with, I also love the opportunity to watch my donations – as small as I think they are some days – adding to the sum total that provides an organization or group with what they need to sustain their positive work/efforts in the world.  And, I know that no gift is too small.

Likewise, I consider it a ministry to ask others to give generously to causes I’m associated with; inviting people to use their money to change some small (or large) part of their neighborhood, community, or our world.

Occasionally I’m asked, “Is it hard to ask for money?”  At the risk of over-simplifying the art of development, my answer is typically, “No.”  While there are certainly good fundraising practices that have taken me some time and effort to develop, overall, I have a pretty simple approach to fundraising.  A perfect example of my fundraising strategy can be summed up by an exchange I had a couple of days before I was scheduled to ask an entire Sunday morning church congregation to monetarily support my local organization, the Center for Social Ministry.  A friend asked me, “How do you ask a whole congregation of people for money?  Do you just stand in front of them and say, ‘We do good work, and we need money.'”  My answer was, “Pretty much!”   For me, it’s just this simple.  I love giving people an opportunity to live out their faith through the spirituality of giving.

Whether it’s the Center for Social Ministry or some other organization that is meeting basic human needs or building bridges in our broken world, I invite you to enter into the spirituality of giving this holiday season and make a monetary gift to support the community-changing, world-changing, work that is happening around you, every, single day.  We do good work, and we need money!

In a Spirit of Giving,

Susie

Donations can be made to the Center for Social Ministry at http://www.centerforsocialministry.org/donate/
The “Building Bridges, Building Hope” blog is written by Susie Tierney, Executive Director, of the Center for Social Ministry.  Susie hopes the blog will encourage others to be “bridge-builders” in this politically divisive time, and will promote dialogue and common ground-thinking.  To sign up to receive our “Building Bridges, Building Hope” blog click here.