The Game Changer Most People Will Miss
I believe generosity is a game changer. In our own life and in our family.
As parents, we all want our children to have a better life than we have. Unfortunately, living in an affluent society has led to high levels of entitlement and people that are very focused on themselves. Generosity is the antidote! As we become more generous and help our family become more generous, entitlement is broken, materialism is weakened, and work ethic can be strengthened. As a family, generosity unifies us and enhances family harmony. Increasing generosity creates a return on investment far beyond what we can imagine.
I recently read the following blog, written by National Christian Foundation, that provides a great starting point. I have only made slight revisions: Raising up generous children and grandchildren can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. As you model a generous spirit and teach them Jesus’ words that “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” you kickstart a journey of growth, service to those in need, and greater overall contentment.
With these myriad benefits in mind, the following are some steps toward becoming a more giving family:
- Start small when you want to be more generous– If you are looking for a place to start in your charitable giving, you do not have to break the bank. Have each family member contribute a reasonable amount on their own, or pool money as a family to talk through the causes you would like to support as a group. A Giving Fund is a wonderful tool that can make the process simple and fun.
- See your community with open eyes– In Jan Johnson’s book Growing Compassionate Kids, she encourages families to look for ways to be generous in “life’s normal moments.” One tip she offers is to keep a “basic bag” in your car to hand out to someone in need. It can include things like a toothbrush, soap, a comb, or washcloth. You will be helping someone who needs a hand, and modeling something beautiful for your children.
- Realize that being generous is not just about giving money– In Dave Toycen’s book The Power of Generosity, he encourages those on the path to becoming more generous to think about their talents and skills. Sharing what you have means more than money. What skills do you bring to the generosity table? How can you help a neighbor or community group with your gifts of time and talent?
- Do not feel you have to reinvent the generosity wheel– Lots of organizations, churches, and schools offer ways to practice being a generous family without having to come up with a never-before-done idea.
- Discuss how your family ranks in its generosity – In The Giving USA’s latest report, they discuss recent findings about American giving. View the report online (https://givingusa.org/giving-usa-2017-total-charitable-donations-rise-to-new-high-of-390-05-billion/ ), and talk as a family about how you rank in your generosity. Are you where you want to be? If not, discuss how you can be more giving.
National Christian Foundation is a US based foundation that helps families in their generosity. In Canada, our firm has relationships with Canadian National Christian Foundation and other public foundations to help families enjoy the benefits of growing in their generosity. If you would like to learn more about becoming a more generous family and/or setting up a Giving Fund, give us a call today.