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Choosing to be generous

What are you inspired to support? Start there.

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Can you count the number of requests for donations you have received in the past week or month? How many ways have different organizations tried to get your attention?  It is only going to increase between now and the end of December!

This is the season of giving and everyone is looking to be the recipient of your generosity. This is particularly true for people whose faith tradition encourages reaching out and serving others.

How does the barrage of requests make you feel?  Annoyed at how they interrupt your plans? Inadequate because you can’t respond to everything?

Perhaps taking a step back right now might help.  Creating a generosity plan can really help.

What inspires you most? Start there.

Is your heart moved by creating community for the isolated, feeding the marginalized or advocating for local affordable housing?  Is it looking after those close to home through your local church or reaching out to others around the globe through the Mission & Service of the United Church of Canada?

Then, consider the ways that you can make a difference at more than one level.  Making a gift of money and also a gift of your time and talent.  For instance, supporting or taking part in a project at your local level, such as a local church food bank, and also helping a parallel initiative that has a provincial or national scope, such as The Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  You can find many possibilities in the Gifts with Vision catalogue.

Once this giving season is over, make a New Year’s resolution to update your generosity plan for 2020.  How generous do you plan to be throughout 2020?  What opportunities will there be for you to give?  Having a plan allows you to anticipate and be able to respond to the many requests you will receive, and to do so in a way that is life giving and feels right.  And it’s just a plan.  You can always adapt it and be more generous if your situation changes.  Ask yourself those two key questions:

  • What are you inspired to support?
  • How will you support them in ways that really make a difference?

Such a plan can provide peace of mind that will go a long way to avoiding feelings of guilt, inadequacy and annoyance throughout the coming year, as you generously give.