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April 2016 - Generosity Gameplan™

global greens - transformational generosityWhile in Des Moines last month to set up a beta testing site for the digital version of the Generosity Gameplan, I was fortunate to be introduced to and meet with Quintin Steiff, pastor of Valley Evangelical Free Church in West Des Moines. Quintin is a friend and pastor to several of my connections in the Des Moines area. As Quintin and I chatted, I began to realize that he has a great understanding of transformational generosity, and the church, in turn, practices it daily. “Love U DSM” is the name of the commitment the church has made to serve and love the people of greater Des Moines. The church is very outwardly focused and seeks to be at the heart of the community.

global greens - woman and produce - transformational generosityAn example of this is the Global Greens Farm. Valley Church partners with Lutheran Services of Iowa to give local refugees who are interested in being connected to the land the opportunity to grow and farm their own produce. The church owns an acreage right in the heart of town where they have built a community center and where the Global Greens farm is located. Beginning market farmers cultivate a 50’x50’ plot of land, and then can move to a larger ¼ acre and receive intensive training on crop production, business development and marketing to help them turn their passion into a profitable business. The produce can then be sold at farmer’s markets all around Des Moines. The food they grow is chemical free, naturally grown and non-GMO.

Pastor Quintin uses the word “generosity” rather than “stewardship” when talking about the church. He wants them to be the heart and hands of Jesus to the people of their city, reaching out practically with acts of kindness and service.

That’s transformational generosity!

How about you? Do you know of Pastors who get transformational generosity?

Read my book, Connected for Good: A Gameplan for a Generous Life, to discover more stories about transformational generosity.

John Stanley and Kent Bergeman -  relationship bridgesBeing on the receiving end of a relationship capital gift is amazing.

My friend Deborah Fugenschuh, President of the Donors Forum of Wisconsin, once suggested that I meet another donor in our community. The Vine and Branches Foundation that I serve had made a gift to an inner city organization whose leadership was in crisis, and the capital we invested was at risk. Deborah knew the situation and wanted to connect me with another donor who had also made a gift to the same organization-the president of Wells Fargo Bank in Wisconsin, Kent Bergemann. Kent and I ended up meeting for lunch and discussed how together we might be a force for good to resolve the problems the organization was facing.

As we started to discuss our personal lives, we discovered remarkable similarities. We are both Catholics, married for over 25 years with two adult children, outdoorsmen, adventure travelers, and so on. Since that day, Kent and I have been intentional and close friends, and we often invest our philanthropy together in order to leverage our collective impact.

The gift that Deborah gave me, without expecting repayment and with no knowledge of the possible personal connections, has become powerful in my life. A gift freely given generates gratitude-my gratitude to Deborah is expressed in a generous posture of building relationship bridges wherever I can.

Read my book, Connected for Good: A Gameplan for a Generous Life, to learn more about the incredible impact of building relationship bridges.