June 19, 2012

How To Be Great At Giving

Last night I gave a talk to a group of donors about generosity.  The point of the talk was that giving is an area of excellence in our life, just like any other activity.  

Some people are great givers, and others are sporadic to innapropriate.  It's critical that we approach giving with a Good-2-Great mindset because, after all, there's only so much time or money in our budget ... and the world needs us to punch above our weight.  

Here are 7 ways to be great at giving: 

1. Turn Have-To's Into Get-To's: Don't give out of sympathy or duty.  Your recipients don't want your charity, they need your support.  When you find yourself at Aristotle's intersection of purpose (your ability and the greater need), rejoice that you've been given an opportunity.  This will produce an attitude of gratitude on your part, and bring you the Helper's High that generosity can produce. 

2. Give As A Relection Of Your Values:  Don't give randomly. Focus on the values you hold the highest and concentrate your efforts there.  If you value health, give to a hospital foundation.  If you value community, consider donating time to local cause.  By aligning giving with your values, you'll possess the tenacity to finish what you start. 

3.  Give All The Time: Generosity, like gratitude, is a spiritual muscle that needs to be worked out constantly.  Don't let your generosity be a one-and-done phenomenon.  The more you practice generosity, the better you'll get at making a difference with your assets.  

4. Obsess About Return On Giving (ROG): Think of ROG as the ROI of charity.  If you are donating money, question the flow-through rate of every dollar you give.  Anything less than 80% is likely funding the organization, instead of moving the needle. If you are volunteering, review the results of the projects, to make sure they are worthy of your time.  

5.  Diversify Your Giving Portfolio: If you are in the habit of donating money, diversify your generosity by donating time.  Mentor someone in transition that you can help.  Invest an hour a week into networking others into opportunity.  By combining tangible and intangible giving, you'll be able to keep doing it even when business/social cycles change your personal situation. Sometimes you'll have more money and time or vice versa.  In either case, you'll remain generous . 

6. Talk The Walk: Share what you are doing with your friends and co-workers.  Don't worry, it's not bragging if you are helping.  It's recruiting!  When you share your walk of good with others, you influence them to do the same.  Generosity is contagious, but if you keep it a secret, how can ever catch on?  

For more, read The Power Of Giving


Posted at 7:46 AM in Abundance  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)



Grazas por facer o intento de confianza para dar unha explicación para iso. Eu me sinto moi robusto aproximadamente e quere ser informado máis. Se está todo ben, como alcanzar a sabedoría intensivo extra, podería pensamentos engadindo mensaxes extras moi semellantes a este con máis información? Pode ser moi útil e útil para min e para os meus compañeiros.


Eu não sei o que dizer. Este blog é fantástico. Isso não é realmente uma declaração muito grande, mas é tudo que eu poderia vir acima com depois de ler isto. Você sabe muito sobre este assunto.


Wow den här webbplatsen är verkligen fantastiskt för mig, är jag imponerad av denna webbplats.


What agreat post!
I agree with you in every point you mentioned.

Thanks for sharing.


I like the list! We tend not to think of "giving" as a skill, but it really is, and those are well-versed in it will find themselves with a direct advantage, especially today in this social media world.


I've heard that giving is a learned behavior and not something that comes naturally. Yet I've seen people who just have this quality as built in as their DNA.

I've seen the amazing power of giving. It always comes back in various ways multiplied more than we can imagine. Yet still I'm in awe of those who give and give with no expectation of any return. That's what I aspire to be--someone who gives of resource and talent. Thanks for this great thought, Tim.


"Give all the time" -- great insight. I wish I read that before yesterday's sermon.

Josh Hunt


Love all the points Tim. Particularly 2 & 3 right now. Give intentionally. We don't have to wait for something bad to happen to give a little extra...

Great thoughts!



You don't need to 'brag' about it if giving is a part of your everyday life. Those around you will see it. There are times and places to give quietly and in secret. But there's no reason why you shouldn't give openly and obviously. I might sneak a $20 into a friends hand when they are short so they aren't embarrassed in public. But I'll also let people know I'm running down to the mission to help out over lunch. Anyone want to come along?


Yeah Matt - If we don't share our efforts/giving projects with others, how can we influence or get feedback? Secret giving is like secret gratitude...


#6 is an interesting point. I never thought of it that way.

"Don't worry, it's not bragging if you are helping. It's recruiting!"

I think too many people, particularly Christians (who take the "not boasting about good works" too far) feel they are bragging and will seem "holier than thou."

That's not the case if your heart is in the right place and you are genuinely excited about the good you are doing and want others to get involved.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In