Strategy, Donor Development and Gifted Givers
It was at the dedication of a new building at the Christian college. The delight of the students and faculty was palpable. Over a hundred donors and friends had joined the joyful celebration. The building would serve many generations of students, and there was an appropriate sense of thanksgiving to God for what had been accomplished through His people.
One of the attending guests was the largest donor to the building. In fact, the building would still be a dream if not for the large and sacrificial gift he and his wife made. We would have joyfully named the facility in thanksgiving for their stewardship—but they would have none of it. Based on the way they carried themselves that day, no one would have suspected they were the primary donors to the project. But halfway through the reception, the husband called me into one of the brand-new conference rooms. I remember thinking, This is odd—I hope we have not done something to disappoint this remarkable couple.
Imagine my surprise when the first words out of his mouth were, “What’s next?” It was immediately clear to me what he was suggesting. This project was complete. But even before the celebration was over, he wanted to know what was on the horizon for the organization that their future stewardship could influence. That is a gifted giver!
The gifted giver is rare, indeed. It is very likely that you could name the gifted givers to your organization on one or two hands, even though the gifted giver aligns most closely with the biblical examples of true givers. They may comprise only 2 to 5 percent of your givers. The gifted giver seldom needs to be asked. As in the illustration above, the gifted giver does not need to be reminded of the obligation and joy of giving. He or she has already settled the question of joyful and abundant giving. The only remaining decision is, “To whom should I give from the resources God has entrusted to me?” For the gifted giver, giving itself is a joy and a blessing that cannot be measured. The deep satisfaction of “storing up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20) far outstrips any fear of loss of temporal security. That deep, full joy is easily discernible by the ease with which the funds are released, and the peace that is evident in the act of giving. And giving is not out of income alone. Gifted givers often reach into their asset base—their net worth—to invest in the causes they care about. Their primary calculation is this: “how much of God’s money should I keep?” This kind of giving is rare, indeed, but it is what true giving should be and you have gifted givers who love your ministry!