Issue No. 327 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting recommends two short books on inspiring biblical generosity—with very practical tools to enhance your board’s role in development. And this reminder: subscribe here for Drucker Mondays, as 52 guest writers share their favorite quotes and commentary from the new book, A Year With Peter Drucker.
The Generosity Oxymoron
Imagine this! You work or volunteer for, or serve on the board of, an exciting nonprofit organization. You care deeply about your cause—but the charity needs more money to do more good.
An influential person has assembled a large group of potential givers—and you’re up. You have 15 minutes to make your case. What would you do?
If you’re a long-time reader here, you already know that this opportunity will be enhanced by the wisdom from a book. But today’s your lucky day: two books!
Then—and this is a must—order 100 or more copies of the 79-page gem, Ignite Your Generosity: A 21-Day Experience in Stewardship (now with a small group guide), by Chris McDaniel.
Here’s the oxymoron on inspiring generosity: It looks easy (“Joe would be a great fundraiser—he’s a people person!”), so we don’t become students of biblical generosity or time-tested development principles. Then it becomes hard because our misinformed methodologies poison the well. We go from glad, to sad, to mad.
Here’s the prayer I wrote as my endorsement for Development 101:
“Lord, forgive us. We’ve borrowed secular funding methodologies, added prayer and sweat—and then bargained with You to bless our mess. What grace you’ve given us, anyway! But now, we have no excuse. Thank you for the detailed and God-honoring treasure chest of insights, case studies, theology and checklists—served up in this readable, wonderful ‘101’ book. Thank you, Lord, for gifting John Frank and Scott Rodin with the ability to communicate wisdom and practical help. May a Kingdom ripple effect be the result!”
Their book is unrivaled—literally nothing like it. It’s detailed, but short enough that board members will read it. The 30,000-foot view is panoramic and motivating (“I could do this!”) and the in-the-weeds details are amazing. Consultant-types don’t give away the store in print. They did!
Example: “The Role of the Board in Development” (chapter 3) has four keys and four cautions to help board members be successful development partners. “Review your Board Scope of Work (or whatever documents articulate your board policies and procedures) frequently at board meetings to reinforce the work everyone agreed to take on when they joined.”
If you think you’re beyond a “Development 101” title—don’t! It’s comprehensive as the subtitle promises, including: theological foundations, the key role of relationships, “Ten Components to Your Comprehensive Annual Development Plan,” the strategic plan, volunteers, capital campaign strategies, planned giving, and three short pages/words-of-wisdom on how and why to hang in there.
Remarkable! A six-page resource, “An Example of a Theology of Development,” is worth the price of the book. (But…really…I could say that about each chapter.)
OK. That’s the context for your 15-minute talk. But how do you inspire potential givers. What do you say? Here’s where Ignite Your Generosity will serve you.
Published originally under another title by ECFAPress (see my 2011 review), now Chris McDaniel and InterVarsity Press have included a small group guide and a free “Generosity Challenge” resource. McDaniel also has other stewardship resources posted here.
This 21-day journey to help Jesus-followers experience the joy of generosity will impact your head, your heart, and your wallet with 21 short stories and call-to-action ideas like:
Day 13: (You gotta read this one!)
In the late 1800s, a young girl in a Pennsylvania church, Hattie May Wiatt, was prompted by God to begin saving money for a larger church building. Yet she dies in her youth. Good news: the pastor took the 57 cents she had saved and inspired his congregation to multiply that into $250—and the multiplication continued so that by 1912, the church had expanded and grown to over 5,600 members.
So what if…instead of hassling givers, manipulating givers and shaming givers, our churches and nonprofit ministries actually INSPIRED givers and challenged their heads and hearts with Scriptures and stories—so that their check writing and online giving would be prompted by their attentive ears to the Holy Spirit’s nudges?
Light the fire and share this powerful mini-book with your generous givers and those who have not yet experienced the joy of giving.
To order these books from Amazon, click on the graphics below for:
Ignite Your Generosity: A 21-Day Experience in Stewardship, by Chris McDaniel (Note: bulk pricing is available from InterVarsity Press.)
Development 101: Building a Comprehensive Development Program on Biblical Values, by John R. Frank and R. Scott Rodin
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
#1. Development 101 asks: “Have we provided everyone who speaks publicly (and perhaps all staff and board) with a set of talking points they can use to craft ‘elevator speeches’ and other communications?” Turn to the person next to you—you have 60 seconds to share our organization’s elevator speech. Go!
#2. The study guide in Ignite Your Generosity suggests: “Think of someone who models cheerful giving. Briefly share about that person and what draws you to this conclusion about them.”
As we cycle through the 20 buckets, here is an insight from Chapter 11, the Donor Bucket, in Mastering the Management Buckets.
“One way to get a healthy culture,” says Miles McPherson, “is to hire healthy people.”
In the same vein, I would add, “One way to have a generous board of directors is to recruit generous people—people who have already demonstrated that they have prioritized their giving so your organization is already in the Top-3 of their total annual giving.”
But let’s be clear—just mandating this won’t do it. Read “The Donor Bucket” chapter and the two books in today’s issue. Many organizations have cracked this code by addressing it at the front end.
For more resources on inspiring givers to be generous—visit The Donor Bucket webpage.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting is emailed free two to four times a month to subscribers, the frequency of which is based on an algorithm of book length, frequent flyer miles, and client deadlines.
Plus...check out John's post on the ECFA governance blog page, "Boardroom Body Language."