Featured Generosity Blog

Measuring Impact

measuring impact

Perhaps controversial in Christian circles, the difference or change an organization make is essential. Impact practice is then the activities that an organization does to focus on the difference that it makes. Кто такой таргетолог? This definition can include planning desired impact, planning how to measure it, collecting information about it, making sense of that information, communicating it and learning from it. This is an important piece of reporting to funders.

Though many funders will partner with an organization because of close ties or a strong belief in the vision and mission, they still need to see that their investment is achieving results. This report is a framework targeting UK donors to increase their impact through their giving, but Christian organizations everywhere can learn from the report as well. In the end, Christian organizations need to be good stewards of the resources God has entrusted to them and use these resources most effectively in His Kingdom. The full report can be found HERE.

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Mobile Giving

Donors in the US who give via text message would like to make larger gifts using their mobile phones, according to a survey by the mGive Foundation. 85% of the donors said they would be willing to give $25 to $50 via text although the contributions presently are limited to $10 each. Text donors like to give through their mobile device because it is easy, convenient, and allows the donor to retain control.

People who make donations via text message also give using other methods. Online giving received the top ranking as the donors’ preferred method of giving, followed by special events and text messages. Religious organisations however do not make use of the opportunities text giving present. Only 12.8% of respondents said that they will consider giving to religious organisations through text giving.Mobile giving

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Social Enterprise & Social Investment in the UK

social investment
Dr. Sas Conradie
Coordinator, Global Generosity Network

Social enterprises and social investment are increasingly important in addressing social needs. In the UK social investment isvalued at over £200m and expected to reach £1bn by 2016. Social investment is the provision of finance to organisations with a clear charitable or social agenda, to generate both social and financial return. It offers the opportunity for socially-minded investors to increase the impact of their money.

The ‘Best to Invest?’ guide  from NPC in the UK helps funders think through the benefits and risks of social investment, and how to decide if it is for them. In the UK the social investor base is starting to expand from a small number of market-building grant-making trusts, and interest is high amongst a broad range of individuals and foundations. There are also growing numbers of instruments that constitute social investment including social investment bonds and secured loan finance. Alongside grants, social investment can help donors achieve their mission by enabling charities and social enterprises to scale up their work, develop new activities, and become more sustainable by developing a reliable income stream. Social investment and social enterprises present opportunities for ministries to reach more people and become more sustainable financially.

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Revealing Indian Philanthropy Review

Dr. Sas Conradie
Coordinator, Global Generosity Network

Indian philanthropyRevealing Indian Philanthropy published by UBS and the Alliance Publishing Trust in the UK provides a detailed look at philanthropy in India. The book highlights the potential of philanthropy in 21st Century India and mentions the role of business and personal wealth in addressing the country’s socio-economic challenges specifically. Affluent middle class Indians are now giving to formal organizations instead of their immediate community which presents opportunities for Christian ministries as well. Company executives are also demonstrating more support for non-profits that deal with social needs. Saving taxes is apparently not a primary factor in giving decisions for most affluent Indians as India does not have inheritance tax, it seems givers are more motivated by the desire to give back to society. A link to the book can be found on the Global Generosity Movement website from where it can also be downloaded as an ebook. Christian leaders will receive valuable insights on how to encourage giving in India by reading what looks like a very important resource on giving in India.

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Bangalore, India Generosity Summit

Dr. Sas Conradie
Coordinator, Global Generosity Network
 

Bangalore

I was privileged to have been one of 75 participants from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and other parts of the world who attended the generosity events that were held from 13-16 June 2013 at Vidyadeep College in Bangalore. The events included:

  • The South Asia Generosity Consultation that developed a strategy for Christian generosity, giving and stewardship in South Asia;
  • The South Asia Generosity Training that equipped leaders in training others to live and give generously;
  • The South Asia Fundraising Training that equipped leaders in mobilising funds for their ministries and churches;
  • The Global Generosity Trainers Consultation that looked at a global generosity training strategy.

God did much more than what we expected. Participants shared how they had been transformed during the consultation and training. A mission leader said that he had never been so challenged during a consultation. The teaching was so good that the global generosity trainers changed their program to listen to the South Asian presentations. God spoke to me personally during every presentation and teaching. The challenge really hit home when Dr. Sudarshan Sathianathan, Tearfund Asia Head spoke about the different levels of generosity – comfort zone, effort zone and terror zone. Am I willing to be generous to the point of sacrificing something extremely special? That can be with relationships or something as simple as offering somebody my comfortable seat in a bus, train or airplane. I must admit I am still struggling with that one …

Bangalore3Rev. Ivan Sathyavrata, Lausanne Movement leader in South Asia, said during the training that we will catalyze a culture of Biblical stewardship, generous giving and kingdom focused giving in South Asia when we realize that all that we do must be grounded in God’s great act of giving. Mission itself is rooted in the giving heart of God. When we understand God’s giving heart and the principles of generous giving in the Gospel we might start living in the terror zone of generosity.

Generosity then becomes empowering as Dr. Richard Howell, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India so clearly said in his opening devotion on 13 June. God is generous to us and He offers us His table; to sit and eat with him (Luke 22:29). Generosity is about giving a voice to the powerless and hopeless; to empower them.

Rev. Ivan Sathyavrata challenged us that we should be the beginning of a movement of generous living and giving in South Asia. Such a movement can become a reality if we start living out the Biblical message of stewardship, generous living and Kingdom focused giving in our families, in our ministries, in our communities, in our churches, in our businesses, in our work, in our areas of influence or wherever we go or meet. I pray that the consultations and training in Bangalore would indeed catalyze such a generosity movement in South Asia. Indian leaders agreed on and are already involved in taking the movement forward. Please contact me for more information at ggncoord@gmail.com

 

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Corporate Giving Trends

Corporate giving can often be an afterthought in the generosity conversation. Many companies give purely for tax benefits or to appear charitable, some give so little compared to their profits that they would never feel it. However, a recent study showed that in 2011 corporate giving was not only on the rise, but many companies were becoming much more intentional about where they are giving and how they are engaging their local community with their gifts.

Also encouraging in this report is that many companies are using less overhead to give away more money. The median grant size rose from $22,943 to $30,160 between 2009 and 2011 while the number of grants per staff member dropped 26% in that same period.

As seen in the chart below – the top recipient of corporate giving remains health and social services, largely because of the amount of non-cash gifts pharmaceuticals provide through donations of medicine.

Corporate giving

It is encouraging to see companies not waiver in their commitment to share their profits – how can Christian business leaders lead the way in being generous during uncertain financial times? Check out the full report HERE.

 

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Giving USA 2012 Report

UntitledThe Giving Institute’s annual Giving USA report that provides invaluable data on charitable giving in the US each year showed that 2012 was “sluggish” in its growth for the year in giving. This is not surprising given the current economic climate in the United States as well as many organizations and ministries reporting lower fundraising numbers in 2012. The study also revealed that at the current rate of growth that has been observed in the past few years, it will take another “five years for giving to reach 2007 levels…”

Perhaps the most troubling data in this study was that giving has slightly decreased for religious institutions since 2011. Though it is only a 1% decrease, we should hope that the body of Christ lives with an abundance mentality regardless of what the markets are doing. When giving numbers decrease shouldn’t Christians be leading the way in how to live generously?

The report is $90 but includes a hard copy, a digital copy and a powerpoint deck with helpful charts should you need to use the report in a presentation. For more information on the report see Rick Dunham’s blog at Christian Leadership Alliance.

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I Like Veteran

Check out the latest “I Like___.” video – what would it look like for us to live our lives as generously as this?

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2013 State of the Plate

tithe

In a recent interview with Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU)  Pastor Brian Kluth of Maximum Generosity discusses the results of his 2013 State of the Plate research that focuses on tithers—the people who give 10 percent or more of their income to charitable causes. Some of the surprises Brian pointed to from the research include:

  • Only 16% of tithers give off their net income, while 70% base their giving off their gross income and financial blessings.
  • Christians who donate 10% or more are financially more healthy than those who do not give at least 10%.
  • Very few givers plan to leave gifts to charities in their estates and wills. Only 25% are leaving a gift for their church, and 10–11%, are leaving gifts for Christian organizations or mission agencies.

Visit ECCU’s blog for the full interview as well as The State of the Plate homepage for more information on the study.

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Charitable Deduction Does Not Directly Help the Poor?

A writer for the Washington Post recently analyzed data that, in his opinion, suggested the charitable deduction did more to help the top 1% in the US than it did the recipients of the charitable gift. While there are many who surely benefit from making large donations, it is interesting that the author seems to think because it is not going directly to the poor, it is therefore not as much of a benefit.

For instance – he notes that the largest recipients of these charitable deduction gifts are religious institutions (including all religions). His assumption is that the majority of these donations are being used for something other than helping the poor. While we know the money it takes to staff a church and keep the lights on, is he getting at something deeper that we should be paying attention to?

Though the below figure is based on older data it does reveal something that could raise a few questions, namely – are churches the best vehicles to give to benefit the poor?

giving to the poor

We always have to be careful when looking at statistics like this not to assume things from the data that are not being said. While this still should cause us to ask questions about how our churches are spending the money given to them, we should also be asking how this study defines poverty – and how they determine what programs in a church are benefiting the ‘poor’ – should churches not be preaching the Gospel to those who are materially in need? These are important considerations as those outside of a local church ministry may not fully understand the ways in which the church has helped through all forms of generosity, not just direct financial assistance!

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