Visit our first blog: Think Like a Cause Champion for an overview on the ‘why’ that shapes the ‘how’ of becoming a cause champion.
There is a big difference between supporting a cause and truly championing a cause. Identifying as a champion of a cause goes beyond just finding a good cause to support but involves both your time with God, your relationship with God’s laborers, and your efforts to address the root cause. Below are three steps you can take to transform your generosity and establish yourself as a cause champion.
Prayerfully Identify Needs
First, connect your generous heart with prayer. There is an old story about a homeowner who hired a builder. The builder was told to show up on the first day of the week for his assignment, but he never appeared. At the end of the week, the builder came to the homeowner to collect his pay. Baffled, the owner asked why the builder thought he deserved his pay. As it turned out, the worker had built a new garage at the back of the property. Of course, the owner was upset because he had never asked for a new garage.
As God’s laborers, we often think we are doing God’s work without ever asking or listening for what is in God’s design. We end up doing things for God but not with God.
Prayerful generosity is eternity-minded generosity. When God shows you the problems that are affecting His children, His image-bearers, the way to be an effective problem solver is to ask God—and His children—what to do. Ask the Spirit to lead you to people who understand the problem and know how you can step in to support their cause. Prayer, research, and openness to the voices already in the field can all help you understand how to help address the root cause of the problem, not just a symptom of this problem. This is how you become a wise cause champion.
Consider How to Get Involved
Connecting with God’s laborers and His children in need also offers you the opportunity to champion their cause with more than just donations. Are there local volunteer organizations working to solve the same problem God has placed on your heart? Are there advocacy groups fighting for a solution or raising awareness of the issue? Does your church host prayer meetings where you and your fellow believers could intercede on behalf of those who are struggling? Depending on the cause you choose to champion, brainstorm creative ways you could use your time and skills to serve.
Many people support causes overseas and may send donations to workers in remote villages. Thanks to advances in communications technology, we can even learn from people in these isolated areas how to effectively champion them with our voices, time, skills, or donations.
Understand the Impact
Lastly, understand the impact of the organizations involved in your cause area. Becoming a cause champion means analyzing the root cause by reading reports from the field and changing your strategy accordingly. Most nonprofits will report to you about how they are using your funds and about their most pressing needs moving forward. You can also proactively search online databases like GuideStar or Charity Navigator to understand the integrity of the organizations involved in supporting your cause.
When you understand the mission and impact of different charities working on the same cause, you may have the opportunity to support charities with different expertise or complementary goals, suggest projects to fund, and solve the world’s greatest problems through collaboration with God’s laborers.
We invite you to become an eternity-minded giver: seek God’s wisdom through prayer, ask good questions of His workers, get all your resources involved, and understand the impact of the solutions you support. Look to effectively address the root causes of the world’s problems, not just the symptoms. This is how you can develop your generosity and become a cause champion.
This article was originally published May 21, 2021.