Friday afternoon reflections on another week of generous matters

The following short posts highlight topics that captured my attention during the week just past.

Americans have donated more than $105 million to relief and recovery efforts in Japan, three-quarters of which has gone to the American Red Cross, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.

 Although there are indications the economy is gaining strength, America's nonprofits are expecting 2011 to be another difficult year, for themselves as well as the communities they serve, a new survey from the Nonprofit Finance Fund finds. The survey also found that 60 percent of nonprofits have three months or fewer of cash available and that 10 percent have none.

"Years of economic uncertainty have forced nonprofits to adjust to the 'new normal' of scarce resources and increased demand. Some of the adjustments we're seeing are creative and healthy  -- such as strategic collaborations to improve impact in a community. Other effects -- layoffs, people who need being turned away, organizations operating at a deficit or with no cash -- are further compromising the social safety net at a great cost to America." -- Rebecca Thomas, vice president of consulting services, Nonprofit Finance Fund

Online giving is the fastest growing fundraising channel for nonprofits, while online engagement and legislative advocacy are assuming an expanded role in the sector, a new report from fundraising software provider Convio finds.

How often has the parish pastor stood before the congregation and felt like she is BEGGING people for money?  Often. “Please, it’s for the kids” or “It’s for the food pantry” or the worst, “It’s for the church budget” (read: my salary). The posture of a beggar is apologetic, undeserving, and needy. Instead of saying it would be GOOD for a giver to give to this cause or GOOD for a giver to part with some money, we begin from a place of indebtedness instead of invitation to the giver to participate in God’s amazing work. Rarely does such a posture inspire true overflowing generosity. Rather, it coerces token acts of giving born of guilt. Yuck! Blech! Slimy! This only makes both beggar and (reluctant) giver want to leave church to go shower. (Stewardship for the 21st Century, Luther Seminary)

What's your take on this topic?

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