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Connected Givers Love Giving

Jul 7, 2015 at 9:38 AM

Generosity Film Festival logoLast month, thousands tuned in online to watch the Generosity Film Festival which was organized by Leadership Network and sponsored by Thrivent. The festival included many of the best short videos produced by church leaders to promote generosity that had been submitted and chosen by a panel of the sponsoring groups. Some were funny and some were inspiring. One in particular I found fits for those of us stuck in the Gratification Gap.

The Gratification Gap is one of three Generosity Gaps that hold us captive and prevents us from taking generosity to the next level. The Gratification Gap describes long time charitable givers and volunteers who wake up one morning and say, “is this all there is to generosity?” They feel like they might be making a difference but are not seeing lasting change.

In a dramatic way the story told in this video is one of connected givers. A couple who has been giving to their church for some time has the opportunity to meet those who have benefited from their generosity. After meeting with them, this couple realizes that connected givers move from simply making a difference to creating change.

Isn’t that what you want from your acts of generosity? Are you tired of making a difference? Want to create real change? Get connected with others and in the meantime be inspired by watching this video.

I wonder, do you know the people affected by your generosity? If you were connected, what difference would that make for you?


Read my book, Connected for Good: A Gameplan for a Generous Life to discover ways in which you can become a connected giver.

5 responses to “Connected Givers Love Giving”

  1. Kenneth M Schilf says:

    Very heartwarming and at the same time informative.

  2. I’ve experienced the inverse as well – lack of connection to the people impacted by a charity leads donors, and even board members, to lose enthusiasm for the cause. A simple, direct conversation between a donor and those impacted can be a powerful experience, and generate a well-spring of new enthusiasm. We often need to experience the emotional impact to stay engaged and John’s work focuses on practical ways to make it happen.

  3. Love this! I am a firm believer that the most generous among us are those that give of their talents, intelligence and passion to develop compassionate leadership in our children, young adults. I recently wrote an article on this topic based on a project we are spearheading in Sandy Hook, CT to address the root cause of violence called, The Spark Project; a topic we know all too well. It is a community-wide effort to build compassionate leadership skills in Sandy Hook and beyond. Click on this link for an overview of Spark — https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sandy-hook-ct-tomorrows-talent-pool-leaders-heart-robert-accomando?trk=prof-post.

    The idea to reward compassionate youth with connection to seasoned leaders and executives was, in part, inspired by Generosity Gap described in this blog article (and more deeply in his excellent book — Connected for Good) and John’s kind guidance to me personally. I honor that gift John gave me and know that I can rely on his experience for guidance in our continuing effort to change a culture plagued by violence and disconnection. What comfort it gives me to know I have his learned guidance when I need it.

    At the same time, I can’t imagine a better way for those who are feeling uninspired in their giving to reconnect with their passion by mentoring a young adult in the continued development of compassionate leadership skills. The emotionally intelligent young adult the Avielle Foundation will pair you up with will eventually show you the legacy of your kindness through the kind acts performed across a lifetime. Moreover, your mentee may someday become one of the greatest leadership talent acquisitions your organization has ever made. From the young adult’s perspective and from the perspective of his or her proud parents, there is no greater gift you can offer.

  4. This is brilliant! Every donor deserves to be connected to those affected by their generosity. In doing so, each has an experience of abundance and God’s grace.

    • Tim Schwan says:

      I think you are touching on an important theological dimension. Not only are givers more cheerful when they are connected “horizontally” (with sister or brother in need), but also “vertically” (with our amazing and generous God, who not only created us in His generous image, but demonstrated extreme generosity in the redeeming sacrifice of His son Jesus, and continues to draw us into generous communities of Christians where we are daily led by the Spirit to learn to live more generously)!

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