“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
—2 Corinthians 9:7, NIV


photo of cupped hands holding grains of rice

CC photo courtesy of Mr. Kris

Impulse or Strategy?

I confess—for too long, I simply made spur of the moment decisions about whether to write a check for some worthy cause. When a phone call came from an organization that fit with my values, I would decide whether and how much to give based on my checkbook balance that month.  I hated getting those calls and had strategies for avoiding answering my phone in the evenings, even though I LOVED the organizations and the work they were doing.

This could be called “impulse giving” or “random charity.”  Though many of us feel stuck in this rut, there is an alternative:  strategic philanthropy.  When I became more strategic and intentional about how my giving resources were deployed, it certainly increased my cheerfulness as well as the impact of my gifts.

Strategic giving includes:

  • A focus on achievable outcomes from your giving.
  • Setting priorities for the things that matter most to you.
  • Aligning your philanthropic resources with your values.
  • Tracking your impact over time.
  • Setting up donor funds and foundations that work.
  • Giving your kids habits of saving and giving.

Heather TuiningaHeather Tuininga, our newest Marigold Advisor, is a friendly, compassionate expert when it comes to managing giving.   She has an array of helpful tools that can reduce the pressure and increase the joy and freedom inspired by generosity. In the upcoming weeks you can look forward to reading blogs by Heather that will increase your understanding of good ways to give. She enjoys walking with others as they develop their philanthropy skills and has employed these tools in her own life. You can see from her picture that she is indeed cheerful!

In the meantime if you or someone you know could benefit from attention to any of these issues, feel free to contact Heather.

Why does giving make us cheerful?

If you are a regular giver of your time, energy, and financial resources to worthy causes, you may have noticed that it really does make you feel better to give. This benefit comes from shifting our focus off of ourselves and increasing our sensitivity to others. Generosity makes us feel more connected and positive about our ability to do good. It even helps alleviate depression. To better understand the positive impact of generosity not only on the recipient but on the giver, read more at here.


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