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March 2014 - Generosity Gameplan™

A few weeks ago, I met Bob Goff, author of Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, who spoke at a daylong seminar on poverty in the city. Organization leaders and volunteers were also in the room. When I bought Bob’s book for my son, Micah, and asked Bob to sign it, he said yes and wrote, “Micah, love God, love people, do stuff.

John Stanley and Bob Goff Love Does inscriptionJohn Stanley and Bob Goff

The message from Bob reminded me that we sometimes make philanthropy too complicated. We get stuck fussing over strategy, return on investment, and efficacy. These things can be important, but often times they hold us back from amazingly ordinary generosity, which is where it all begins, focusing on our heart’s desire for connection and simply getting started.

At the close of this daylong seminar, no money was exchanged, no appeals were made, but connections were electric. People escorted friends and colleagues across the room to meet someone else. Why? Simply to connect. Common ground was apparent, and attendees knew intuitively that one plus one might equal three for the poor and marginalized in the city.

I wonder, do you think making a connection between two people for their benefit, not yours, is “doing stuff”?


Where are you at with “doing stuff”? Take the Generosity Checkup and find out.

The couples in my audience will know what it’s like – sometimes having a partner can slow you down, and other times the two of you can cover much more ground than you could on your own. That’s one of the paradoxes of marriage.

Generosity can be one of those sticky areas because it involves decisions about time, money, and passion. But when you and your spouse are working together with a Generosity Gameplan in place, the sky is the limit.

Recently I had a chance to join Gary and Barb Rosberg of America’s Family Coaches to talk about how couples can join forces to give strategically from the heart.

John Stanley Generosity Gameplan WHO interview

Gary, Barb, and I developed a friendship over five years as co-laborers with a prominent American family that convened and encouraged healthy marriage champions. Jamee and I support America’s Family Coaches, along with many of our friends, because of the skillful work they do strengthening thousands of marriages, including our own.

Also joining us for the interview was Jerry Foster, a Des Moines community leader and owner of the Foster Group, a wealth management firm that has a special talent in helping clients bring meaning to their means.

If you and your spouse are looking for guidance in your giving, and particularly if you have assets to invest, I invite you to listen together to our 30-minute conversation.

Click here to listen live on WHO Newsradio, Saturday, March 29 at 2 pm Central

Click here to access the interview recording after it airs

I hope you are inspired by what we have to share!

What’s the first step toward your Generosity Gameplan? Take the Generosity Checkup.

 

Imagine a graph showing colored lines moving from left to right. All except one bounce along the bottom of the graph, illustrating little, if any, growth in mainline Christian denominations over a 25-year period.

One line, however, moves along the bottom left to right until, midway to the 25-year mark, it shoots skyward, forming the classic “hockey stick” effect. This is the art on a plaque used to recognize Bob and Linda Buford.

You see, 30 years ago, Bob imagined the second half of his life, and it included empowering the most entreprenurial evangelical pastors to grow their churches and change hearts in exponential ways.

As a businessman, Bob knew the value of leverage and leadership. Leveraging the knowledge of the best leaders worked for him in the TV broadcast business, and he decided to apply this model to the most effective place for human change: the church.
Beginning with a small circle of highly regarded entrepreneurial pastors, he simply started a conversation about learning from each other and applying these learnings in their home churches. Then they agreed to come back together, report, and learn some more. Today, hundreds of pastors have benefitted and millions of Christians have grown in their faith.

Leadership Network celebrates its anniversary with stunning results and the acknowledgement that the hockey stick was not achieved single-handedly.

I was fortunate to be among the folks celebrating Bob and Linda’s Generosity Gameplan, formed in their hearts’ desire long before I named it so. I claim no role in its formation, but I do celebrate it and recognize their clarity of vision, their endurance during challenging times, and especially their humility.

Generosity rightly understood is done with others, not for others.


If you’re in a similar place of imagining what you’ll do with the second half of your life, I’d love for you to get in touch. Contact me and we’ll talk about the potential for your Generosity Gameplan.