Are You A Cheerful Giver?
How many times in your career has this happened to you: I am sitting in my hospital development office, and I am asked to come to the front desk. I see a woman that I have never met before, and she asked to come to my office. She sat down and told me how stories that are communicated to the public about the great work we are doing, plus the importance of philanthropy to our mission, influenced her to visit me.
She gave me a $25,000 check and said more will be forthcoming. She also said she wanted to immediately become a volunteer for our cause. When she gave the check to me, she smiled and said she is a cheerful giver. I felt her joy and, over time, she chaired a multi-million-dollar capital campaign for our hospital with a contagious smile on her face.
What does it mean to be a cheerful giver? In Compelling Truth, it is noted that in 2 Corinthians 9, Paul reminds the church in Corinth that they had promised to collect money for other believers. He writes, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
As development officers, we always seek time, talent and treasure from others. We want these individuals to experience joy and pleasure in the fact that they are giving to help others. If donors can believe that the act of giving feels good to them, they will encourage others to follow in their footsteps. We continually seek to foster a positive spirit in others. Joy is contagious, and there is no substitute for happiness. Giving starts at home. If development officers learn and seek graceful giving, they will become better teachers in this important arena.
How can I become a more cheerful giver? This is a topic of the blog, Got Questions. The blog uncovers the fact that you can become a more cheerful giver by studying the greatest giver this world has ever known: Jesus Christ. The Savior Himself told us, “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35). Quite simply, then, our greatest motivation for cheerful and generous giving should be that it pleases the Lord and reflects His gift of salvation to us. When we trust God and honor Him by generously giving our time, talent and treasure, we are truly letting our light shine before men, and our goodness will reflect radiantly on our Father in heaven.
According to the Pushpay blog post, “3 Things to Consider About Becoming a Cheerful Giver,” indicated that there should be three things to consider when you are thinking about becoming a cheerful giver. First, remember that we all have different personalities. When it comes to finances, financial advisor Ray Linder says people are protectors, planners, pleasers and players. They spend money as an extension of their personality.
According to the blog post, the concept of a cheerful giver is different for everyone. Second, if you are not cheerful about it, give anyway. Give even though you don’t feel like it. Three, get your finances in order, so you can have a budget. If you have a budget, you can set aside funds for charitable causes. If you learn to change your expectations, learn to give to others and take the anxiety of the giving experience—it will be easier to share your resources.
According to another Pushpay blog post titled, “20 Reasons Why It’s Better to Give Than to Receive,” key points for giving include:
- Giving makes you happy.
- Giving helps us live longer.
- Giving is an act of obedience.
- Giving is contagious.
- Giving gives your life meaning.
- Giving builds trust.
- It’s the right thing to do.
Network for Good points out that knowing what motivates your donors to give to your organization is vital to the growth and longevity of your relationship. Donors are motivated by the following reasons: they believe in your mission, they desire to make a difference, they have personal satisfaction in giving, giving is family tradition, donating is a positive emotional act for them, their religious beliefs drive giving, they are influenced my social networks and they seek tax benefits. They quit giving when they think their gifts and their involvement do not matter to your organization.
Are you a cheerful giver? At the end of the day, there must be a match between the donor and your organization. If you are doing everything right to make a donor experience positive and cheerful, they will probably continue to give. If you take donors for granted and do not build a relationship with them over time, their flame will extinguish. Your number one job is to give and get others to give joyfully. Have passion, truth, be transparent and love your donors.
Always make them feel special and that their involvement and resources are needed. Constantly promote the concept that it is always better to give than receive and the positive results will be forthcoming and hopefully transformational!
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.