In this blog series on generosity, we have discussed the heart behind stewardship, the ways generosity benefits our health, and were challenged to live with a heart of gratitude. As we wrap this series up, I am encouraging you to think about how you can be generous in a practical way; by using a giving ‘system’.
Once we have established our desire to be generous, we next need to devise a strategy in which we will follow through on our intentions. In the area of giving, using a system or process could feel at odds with our desire to give from the heart. It may feel cold or disconnected from the joy of giving freely, but to do it well, we need a structure in place to keep ourselves accountable to what is most important to us.
Consider this example for our own business at Master’s. Our goal at Master’s is to give outstanding financial advice through meaningful, lasting relationships with you, our clients. We are driven by relationships, but have specific, detailed work to deliver to you. Imagine if we did not have a system to provide you with ongoing advice, it would be a disaster! Despite our core motivation being from the heart (personal relationships), without a system, we will not only fail at delivering good advice, but we will also fail at building the relationships we find so important in this business.
Giving is the same way. It is lead by a heart motivation, but there is specific, measurable work that needs done to do it well. Simply writing down a goal increases your probability of success by 42 percent. Creating a system to hold yourself accountable or even having someone else to hold you accountable increases your chances of success by 85 percent! If you want to be a successful giver, an accountability system is a necessary ingredient.
To get started is rather simple, you just have to answer a few questions:
- How much do I feel called to give? (Dollar amount, percentage of income/net worth, etc.)
- To whom will I give? (Ministries, community organizations, individuals)
- How will I give? (Once a month, automatic transfers, one time gifts)
- How will I measure success? (Year end benchmarking, results of ministries/individuals supported, etc.)
How will you create or refine your system for giving? How have you seen success when using a giving system?
To hear more about creating a giving system, click here to listen to our 4th quarter webinar and skip to 42:50.