Last week, I talked about a different definition of generosity which involved having a giving plan which is “premeditated, calculated and designated.” So, I am moving in the direction of premeditation as a first step to creating a formal giving plan.
Another question that Andy Stanley asked to help move people forward in their generosity plan was: “What are the organizations that you are most passionate about?” Good question and as really good questions will tend to be, this one was thought-provoking. As my kids launch into their own independent lives, the organizations that have received my passion (and my time, talent, and treasure) are no longer relevant – their schools, their activities, their passions. So what are mine? Where do I want to make an impact?
I certainly care about many things and there are certainly more problems to be solved in the world than I can tackle here, but creating a focus does take some consideration. One place to get the juices flowing is at volunteermatch.org. This is a great place to browse by area and find your own areas of interest. You can find organizations that need volunteers (of course, they all need money) and get insights into what is being done locally, nationally, and internationally in your area of interest.
I like the idea of “hand up” versus “hand out” and helping to create opportunities for others. I’ve written about Kiva.org before so you can look back at old blogs on that if you are interested in finding out more. I want to keep that going with more consistent donations. If that is an interest for you, search for team Graduate’s Guide and start lending today. You can pick from a variety of regions and specialty groups. It is not giving per se (unless you donate to Kiva.org directly), but it is providing capital for those in need of it and I keep the funds flowing back out as repayments are made. See if that might be a good place for you to start (with as little as $25).
I also really like organizations like Heifer International and Habitat for Humanity as well, and perhaps I will look to find an organization in Atlanta with a similar mission. Anyway, you get the idea of finding what you are passionate about and making a commitment to consistently do more. Many people look to their church or synagogue and that is great if you feel that doing so meets your need for the “generosity challenge.” I have given to my church out of habit more than anything else, and I think I want to expand my charitable interests a bit further.
What about you? Does Andy Stanley’s challenge about generosity make you a little uncomfortable? Does it shake up your ideas about yourself and what you do to support the organizations that you are passionate about? I do know that we all get into habits and sometimes it is good to shake up those habits, especially our money habits, and make sure they are still right for us, especially as our lives go through different stages and priorities and interests change.
Give it some thought and see if you want to take the “generosity challenge” and if you do, what will that look like for you and your community?
To your financial (and community) success!