Strategy, Donor Development and Thoughtful Givers
What differentiates gifted givers from thoughtful givers is the ease with which they give of their resources. For the thoughtful giver, the pleasure of giving is tinged with a sense of obligation upon the follower of Christ. While they willingly put themselves in situations where they can be exposed to giving opportunities in the kingdom, it is often the nature of the appeal and their current circumstances that dictate whether and how much they choose to give. Giving is calibrated to current income, and rarely involves lowering their net worth to fund what they care about. They have joy in giving, to be sure, but often lack unbridled delight in investing resources for kingdom purposes. The difference from the gifted giver is a matter of degree, and it can be described as the difference between a totally open hand (the gifted giver) and the occasionally open hand of the thoughtful donor. Their calculation is, “how much of God’s money should I give back to Him?”
ENGAGING THE THOUGHTFUL GIVER
Of course, the thoughtful givers in your orbit must be identified. But, they will not be as obvious to you as the gifted givers. While they may seek opportunities to invest in the kingdom, they almost certainly are investing in many other organizations: their church, human needs, and education, among others. But if the thoughtful donor does look for opportunities to invest and takes joy in their giving, it is important for those charged with getting funds for ministry to identify who they are, provide opportunities for them to hear your story, and winsomely challenge them to invest in your cause. It is with the thoughtful givers that those responsible for getting can have the most influence—and will wisely spend the most amount of time. It is of utmost importance to identify this significant group among those who care for your cause. They are, by and large, the ones who have already given. They also tend to reach out with questions or suggestions.
The thoughtful giver will be responsive to opportunities to hear the vision of your organization. But that, of course, requires that we have a coherent story to tell and an accessible venue in which to tell that story. It also requires willingness to call the thoughtful giver to action on behalf of your cause.
By and large, thoughtful givers need to be asked. There is genuine opportunity to move them to become gifted givers as we engage with them and call them to the joy of giving.