Raising More than Money
Redefining Generosity--Reflecting God's Heart
Doug M. Carter
Thomas Nelson, 2007, 159 pp., ISBN 978-1-4185-1957-5
Dr. Doug Carter is a Senior Vice President of EQUIP, the global leadership development ministry headed by John Maxwell. Carter represents EQUIP in churches and conferences and teaches in EQUIP leadership seminars. This book is unusual in that the further you read the better it gets. The last half is the best.
Jesus said you cannot serve God and wealth (Matt. 6:24). Wealth has a god-like power. People love it. It provides things we desire. It buys pleasure. It gives power. The more we have the more we want. It confronts us with crucial choices. It challenges the true and living God for 'first place' in our lives. And it has the potential to control our lives. (5-7)
"God must be the all-consuming love our lives. But money has the potential of dethroning God as the chief love of our lives. It becomes His rival." (8) "Our use of money reveals our hearts." (9)
"Why would God give any of us 'extra' of anything--more time, talent, or treasure than we need? Could the key reason be so that we can participate personally in fulfilling the Great Commission? That assignment from God was a direct overflow from His heart of love for a lost world. If this same love is then 'poured out in [my] heart' (Rom. 5:5 NKJV), shouldn't it move me toward an active involvement in the Great Commission?" "Any Christian with a heart full of God's love will surely share His concern for the poor and His priority to reach every person on our planet with the good news." (11)
Some checks and balances for giving:
1. "Make sure it is the Lord driving your decision to give.
2. Discuss your decision with your spouse or another trusted friend for confirmation.
3. Assess whether or not your giving follows your passions. God tends to call people to support causes about which they are passionate.
4. Ask yourself, 'Does this project advance God's kingdom?'
5. Make sure you trust and respect the person who is leading the project to which you want to give." (15)
"We own nothing! We are but managers, or caretakers, of what He has placed in our hands. The awesome responsibility of stewardship grips us. Then the wonderful privilege of partnership with God in His rescue plan for a lost world energizes us, and we begin to ask some questions of eternal importance:
· How much should I give?
· To whom should I give?
· How much should I keep?" (19)
Six steps of maturing in stewardship from Wesley Willmer (God and Your Stuff):
1. "Imitator: Mimics others' stewardship.
2. Modeler: Gives sporadically when there is an example to follow.
3. Conformer: Gives because of recognition, tax benefits, and/or other personal gain.
4. Individual: Gives in proportion to what God has given him or her.
5. Generous Giver: Recognizes that all one possesses is from God, and derives joy from giving.
6. Mature Steward: Focuses on God and then on others. The mature steward is more concerned with treasures in heaven than on earth and is content with daily provisions." (24)
"When most people reflect upon their years on earth they will realize they did not live a significant life precisely because it was so easy to settle for a successful one." (27, quoting Dave Anderson)
Every Christian should desire three kinds of hugs, a huge hug from the Father who says, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:21 NKJC), hugs from those whose lives have been impacted by the gospel as a result of your generosity, and hugs from our children for leaving a legacy of stewardship in their lives. (41-2)
"There's joy in generosity." "Those who are the most generous in their giving seem to be the happiest." (47)
"Hewlett-Packard's goal was to view customers as partners and to develop a long-term association with every single one." "The customer provided the challenges, and HP created the technology to meet them." (52)
"We believe partnerships should be formed for the following reasons:
· Effectiveness: The greater the effectiveness, the greater the results.
· Efficiency: The greater the efficiency, the better the use of resources.
· Empowerment: The greater the empowerment, the greater the mobilization of people, gifts, and abilities." (54)
"God-sized dreams require the help of both God and others." (56)
"There's no such thing as being right with God and being wrong with your money." (79)
"But 'raising money' has never been the objective. My passion has been to minister to God's people by helping them experience the fulfillment of practicing biblical stewardship. After all, development work done God's way isn't about raising money. It is about helping people understand that as faithful stewards, we are reflecting the giving nature of Christ." (93)
"When you extract all of the unnecessary things about life, all that remains is relationships." (94)
Chapter 10. Relational Funding: An Overview
"Relational funding is rooted in the idea that relationships with givers should be established around the desire to advance their spiritual growth." (97)
EQUIP's funding model consists of of four stages: LOVE, LEAD, LINK, LIFT. Each word is an acronym for four statements. (103)
Listen to them.
Open your heart to them.
Exemplify generosity. (105)
"Timothy Smith, in his book, Donors Are People Too, explains that a development representative initiates a relationship with this question in mind: Is there a way I can minister to this person? He adds, 'I want to know if there's a way I can invest, be helpful, pray, love. It's possible the person may give to my organization eventually, but that will be a by-product, not the end-product, of the relationship.'" "When I meet with givers or prospective givers, I do my very best to focus on them…." (106)
"My goal in major donor ministry is to grow friends…. We become stakeholders in each other's lives." (106, quoting Timothy Smith)
"William Sturtevant, in his book The Artful Journey, asserts that the first important characteristic of an outstanding fund-raiser is impeccable character. 'The second most important characteristic,' he then declares, 'fortunately one that can be learned, is effective listening.'" (107)
"Design your questions to offer potential contributors the opportunity to talk freely about themselves, their families, their vocations, their hobbies, and their dreams. As you listen, you begin to learn what is important to them." (108)
"Active listening must include the following measures:
· Concentrate on what is being said.
· Ask questions that show real interest in the speaker.
· Give the speaker plenty of time to answer, and do not interrupt.
· Offer affirming feedback.
· Maintain eye contact.
· Make mental notes of what the speaker is saying.
· Be sure your body language indicates real interest--leaning forward, nodding your head, smiling, etc.
· Avoid any body movements or actions that indicate lack of interest, such as looking away, daydreaming, slumping, tapping your fingers on the table, etc.
· Offer to pray with the person if any special needs are mentioned.
· After the meeting, make written notes of key points and other information that will form the basis of future conversation." (109)
"Development representatives must place a high value on people. We must see every person as God's unique creation, with the potential to make a difference." (113)
Lay out the dream.
Explain the strategy.
Ask them for partnership.
Deliver what you promise. (119)
"The key role of the development representative and his or her organization is to provide an opportunity for real people to meet real needs in the lives of real people." (120)
"Effective development representatives are fueled by a vision that sees needs met and lives changed." (120) "The organization's vision must be the foundation of every conversation and presentation." (121)
"In fact, a clear presentation of what we do (mission) and how we do it (strategy) must accompany every presentation of why we do what we do (vision)." (123)
"The giver must be seen as a partner in ministry, not as a source of income. …view the gift, regardless of size, as just one step on a longer ministry journey together." (123)
"The most effective 'ask' must be personal, passionate, and purposeful. To elaborate, requests for giving should be made face-to-face, with a sense of urgency, and should spell out clearly the difference that the donor's gift will make. Furthermore, the request should never place limits on the giver. In other words, talk freely about the size and scope of the need. Be honest. Ask largely. And don't second-guess." (124)
"Relationship building is not instant. It takes time. If you ask for partnership and receive negative response, the 'no' often just means 'not now.' Don't drop the ball. Continue with your efforts to build the relationship." (125)
"Implicit in the 'ask' is a promise that the funds given will bring about a specific result." "I would much rather underpromise and overdeliver! What a joy to be able to report to a giver that his gift has produced better-than-expected results." (127)
"Guarantees must turn into results, and these must be accurate and honestly communicated to the giver." (127) "Givers don't expect organizations to be perfect, but they do expect organizational leaders to be honest--100 percent of the time!" (128)
Lift them up in prayer.
Never take them for granted.
Keep them informed. (130)
"I also believe strongly that the leaders of ministry organizations must faithfully pray for their financial partners because they are family too." (130)
"If I could offer only one word of advice to nonprofit organizations, it would be: Involve your givers in hands-on ministry." (131)
"Relationships, like flowers, die if they are not faithfully cultivated. Honest and frequent communication is the key." (132)
"Acknowledge gifts promptly. A phone call and a handwritten note following the receipt of a gift are vital first steps in maintaining a strong and growing relationship." (133)
"Provide your donors with resources that help them understand that money, from God's perspective, is simply a means to hasten His redemptive mission on the earth." "We view money as a God-endowed instrument for advancing His cause in the world." (139)
"Thank them often. Gratitude is the underpinning of every contact with givers." (141)
"L.O.V.E. them, L.E.A.D. them, L.I.N.K. them, and L.I.F.T. them. Only by engaging in these vital relationship-building steps can you hope to--in concert with your partners--accomplish God's dreams." (141)
Evaluate all your development work with these questions in mind:
· Have I covered my work every day with prayer?
· Do I show integrity and accountability?
· Am I seeking the giver's spiritual benefit? (143)
Keep several key issues in mind: Results, Competence, Trust, Significance, Relationships, Results. Begin and end with results. (144-45)
Relational Maintenance Tips [a few selected from the list on p.146 dlm]
· Visit your ministry partners regularly. Invest your time in them.
· Invite donors to visit your ministry.
· Ask givers for advice; then listen to them.
· Keep your ministry partners informed by reporting to them regularly.
· Thanks donors promptly, personally, and frequently.
· Pray regularly for givers.
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