Red letter money talk

Recently, I was privileged to lead a Barnabas Foundation webinar on the topic of the pastor’s role in growing generous hearts. Despite my doubt that anyone would bite, a good number of church leaders showed up to hear what I had to say. Even better, they responded with questions, comments, and illustrations from their own […]

Overcoming low self-efficacy esteem

There’s no shortage of huge, seemingly intractable challenges waiting for solutions, and all clamoring for our philanthropic support. So many challenges in fact, that everyday folk – families and individuals more generous than wealthy – can become overwhelmed by the immensity of global needs and back off from giving anything at all. I see it […]

The most generous among us were home schooled.

In generosity, that is. The earliest and longest lasting stewardship education begins at home, as parents and grandparents talk and walk the importance of giving to others. To paraphrase the author of Proverbs, when we train up children in the way they should go, the training sticks – including when it comes to stewardship practices. […]

Stewardship education in a Facebook post

“Friends, does anyone use/have success with the envelope system? My husband and I are eager for tips and tricks as we look at new and better ways to steward our money.” Twice this past year, my church’s Stewardship Commission (of which I am a member) offered a faith-based money management course, both times with less […]

Secular fundraisers told to look to the faithful

“Don’t count out Christians.” This wasn’t advice I expected from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, but there it was in bold face, large font on the SSIR blog site. “By including religious groups in their outreach efforts, secular nonprofits stand to significantly strengthen their ability to effect change,” the tag line to the piece promised. […]

Tax day and the sacred

In honor of tax day in the United States, I’ve reached into the Generous Matters archives and pulled out an article with an IRS theme . Other than my accountant, I don’t know many folks who get their jollies from filling out tax forms. And treating our annual shout out to the IRS as an […]

It’s okay to label yourself as generous. Really, it is.

I’m fascinated at how people are comfortable applying all sorts of labels to themselves – extrovert or introvert, energetic or laid-back, punctual or habitually late – but balk at generous. I noted this hesitancy most recently at a gathering of Christian stewardship leaders – the very folk I expect to be comfortable with the moniker. […]

Do you know generosity when you see it?

Generosity is on my mind as I prep for an upcoming conference presentation. In the midst of my pondering, it has occurred to me that generosity is similar to pornography. In both instances, although difficult to define, we know it when we see it. Fortunately, there ends the unfortunate comparison. ALL EYES ON GENEROSITY If […]

If not in church, then where will “nones” learn to give?

A friend who is both the president of a Christian college and a proud grandfather talked about spending a recent Sunday morning on a lacrosse field along with hundreds of young players – his grandson among them – and their families. “I doubt that more than a handful of those parents had church on their […]

First some good news, then the bad about giving and the faithful

How many research studies does it take to confirm the faith/generosity correlation? Apparently at least one more. The latest report chronicling the giving patterns of the faithful comes from Jumpstart, a nonprofit research group, and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Drawing on data from two surveys – the National Study of American […]