Inspiring Generosity

Inspiring Generosity


3 Resolutions to Increase Generosity in 2018

                                                                   These are good resolutions too.

By now, if you haven’t seen at least part of Oprah’s Golden Globe speech, you must be living under a rock. Whether you loved or hated its content (I am firmly in the former category) she offered a master class in constructing a rousing sermon. Preach on, sister Oprah! And, I’ll say that I was thrilled that “Lady Bird” got some well-deserved recognition at the Globes too. Here’s another film you should catch: “The Florida Project.” In fact, every member of Congress, every church, and anyone who thinks they know what it’s like to live in poverty should see it. It’s about people barely scraping by while living in a motel that, ironically, sits in the shadow of the “happiest place on earth,” Disney World. Trust me, this movie will stick with you long after you see it.
Ah, I love digressing. Focus, Cesie, focus.
2018 is here! And it’s a time to make plans for the coming year to increase generosity in your congregation or nonprofit. Here are three surefire ways to make giving a joy:
1.  Say “thank you” as often as possible. I have yet to hear of anyone complaining about getting a hand-written thank you note, have you? Nary a negative Ned or Nellie has said, “Please, stop thanking me.” In fact, having a grateful heart, and expressing it, has a direct link to making you happy. You make someone else feel good and – voila! – you feel great too. Our Sunday School class watched this terrific TED Talk by Shawn Achor on “The Happiness Advantage.” It’s funny and Shawn is amped up. Check out what he has to say about the importance of expressing gratitude.
2.  Tell your story…and emphasize how the donor is a part of it. It’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus only on the future. That’s all well and good but people want to know how their donations, no matter the size, made a difference. Don’t forget to share with them the good news. And remember, it’s not about “how great we are” it’s about how awesome they are. “Because of you (the donor), we are able to do these great things and make a difference.”
3.  Develop a generosity plan. If you aren’t intentional, it usually doesn’t get done. You can access the 2018 Generosity/Stewardship Calendar right here. If you’d like to personalize it for your situation, shoot me an email at and I’ll send you the calendar in a Word format. Think about working with a “generosity buddy” to hold you accountable as you check off your stewardship “things to do.”
2018 is going to be a great year, right? And it will be even better if you carve out space in your day to be thankful and to thank, to find great stories to share, and develop a plan to increase generosity in your congregation or nonprofit. Generosity resolutions? You’ve got it covered.
P.S. Learn more about generosity at the upcoming daylong “Inspiring Generosity in Your Congregation” workshop on February 10. Go here for more information.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She wants to start 2018 by thanking Linda Grund-Clampit and Katie Carpenter for providing a second set of eyes on this blog before it’s sent. Thank you! She was the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at or on Facebook at

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann

Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.

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