Special Sunday Edition
Inspiring Generosity Leads to More Generous Giving
Southwest Florida Faith-Based Organizations Can Find Support through Global Center for Generosity at Cape Coral Community Foundation
Cape Coral Community Foundation Chief Generosity Officer Michael Chatman, was interviewed by Unity FM Radio, on cultivating cultures of generosity and practical ways churches and faith-based organizations can develop a support base of more generous givers.
Michael leads the conversation by answering the following three questions:
What is generosity?
For churches and faith-based organizations, inspiration can be found in Psalms 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
Michael explains that when we truly understand this scripture we begin to see that we’re called to hold everything we own with an open hand – not just our time and talents but also our treasures. A true understanding of generosity from a faith perspective should include financial giving but, unfortunately, many churches and faith-based organizations are ignoring this aspect of discipleship and stewardship.
How can leaders of churches and faith-based organizations model generosity?
Organizations that are learning and advancing in generosity are led by generous leaders, board members, volunteers and staff members. Teaching and inspiring supporters to be generous and, importantly, modeling generosity are essential elements. Leaders must be givers themselves and should have a giving story.
When this is absent, it leads to poor financial leadership and a lack of donor stewardship training. When the leader has a personal journey of giving, they are likely to make it a priority in developing it among their supporters. That is, to develop generosity as one of the marks of discipleship and stewardship.
“Churches and faith-based organizations are great about talking about ‘where’ the money goes but not enough about where the money ‘comes from’ – the heart of a cheerful giver. Churches and faith-based organizations must get better at teaching and modeling stewardship as part of helping givers lead joyful and happier lives.
What is the biggest financial mistake churches and faith-based organizations are making?
Not tracking key metrics. Most churches and faith-based organizations understand their financials. However, many of the same organizations have no idea what is happening in the giving data – the metrics behind the financials.
How many first-time givers, how many givers are potentially lapsing, giver retention, per capita giving, giving concentration – these are key metrics that churches and faith-organizations should understand in cultivating generosity and planning their annual budget.
Through the Global Center for Generosity, Cape Coral Community Foundation offers an initiative to help churches and faith-based organizations fund their vision. The center takes best giving practices and a faith-based organization’s DNA and collaborate with leaders to weave them together into a strategy that will lead to more financial resources to grow, expand and have a greater impact.