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There's Too Much Noise

Nov 16, 2015 at 12:02 PM

thanksgiving reflection - generosity gameplan“You have permission to only support people, causes, and projects that match your heart’s desire.” This is a statement that I often tell connections and clients that are caught in what I call the Gratification Gap. Especially at this time of year, we can feel inundated with requests from very worthy causes. Calvin Edwards, my philanthropist friend, once heard this from a major donor, “I feel like I’m in the middle of a football field during a college game, and everyone is yelling and screaming, and I can’t hear the call. There’s too much noise.”

Answering every call can lead to giving that feels ineffective and disconnected. As the steward of your resources, the best guidance for deciding where those resources go will come from your heart. Getting clear about your heart’s desire will result in giving where you are confident you are making a real difference.

Ask yourself some questions when evaluating your giving decisions. What headline issues speak to you emotionally? What personal struggles have affected you? What encounters with people in need have triggered something in you? And what is that still small voice of God saying? Knowing your heart’s desire to create change, and giving yourself permission to create a “stop giving list” will allow your generosity to be much more powerful.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


Read my book, Connected for Good: A Gameplan for a Generous Life, to consider where you might be experiencing a Gratification Gap and learn how you can cut through the noise.

5 responses to “There’s Too Much Noise”

  1. Lorrie Heinemann says:

    John
    Nicely said – and I truly agree that we cannot be all things to all people – we must focus our giving on what drives our passion – and what helps the next generation achieve theirs along these lines.
    Your fan,
    Lorrie KH

  2. Gary Hoag says:

    “Too much noise” is such a great word picture to describe the season. Thanks John for contrasting that with the “still small voice” of God. We so often give out of external pressure versus internal motivation from what God’s doing in our hearts. Thanks for encouraging me and others to discern and determine which voice to listen to.

  3. David Krill says:

    I was particularly moved by creating a “stop giving list.” There is just too much noise around charitable giving and I agree it becomes ineffective and disconnected.

    • Margadette Moffatt Demet says:

      I totally agree. I am unundated every day with way to many requests, most of whom I cannot possibly fulfill. It is especially disconcerting that the charities we choose to support sell our names to other sites and do not leave us alone. It is nothing unusual to receive a couple of requests from the same \charity two or three times a month , or oftener. I wish there were a real solution to this annoying problem. MMD

  4. Absolutely. Would that the nonprofits seeking those investments respect the values and priorities of the donor. The would raise more money and the donor would be much happier–supporting causes they REALLY want to support.

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