It is hard to believe November is already upon us! As unusual as this year has been, it has still flown by. This means that we are coming upon the end of the year, which is a time when many people perform the majority of their charitable giving.
As you prepare for these final acts of generosity, consider what resources has God placed in your hands in this season. Now is the time to take stock of those and investigate the opportunities you have available to be a good steward. Here are four creative suggestions to help you think outside the box.
- Use the Rainy-Day Funds— At the end of a year, your donor advised fund (DAF) may have miscellaneous dollars left over in it. Instead of letting them sit there, what if you used those funds for extra acts of generosity? This is a year where there is a heightened sense of need and urgency for many of the causes we all love. Embrace the joy of your role as a steward to give from all and any funds to provide blessings to others.
- Give Publicly Traded Securities—Contributing stocks, mutual funds, or bonds to a DAF can provide more money to go towards the charities and causes you care about! By contributing stock to a DAF, rather than selling it first, it could save capital gains tax and leave you with more of the resources available to give to charities. The DAF saves valuable time for both you and the ministry by providing the vehicle to simplify the intake and gifting process.
- Combine Your Efforts—Through a DAF, you can join arms with others around you in your mutual efforts of generosity. By encouraging friends and relatives to contribute to a single DAF, you can multiply the giving power of that fund. Whether through a final year-end gift or a commitment to give together in 2021, the DAF provides an incredible place to connect with your family members or friends around the causes you care for and are invested in. When you lead by example as well as by word, your impact can be far greater!
- The Least is the Greatest—What about when it has been a hard year and you feel you do not have much left to give? Maybe you spent part of the year furloughed from your job, or you did not get your typical bonus because your company is trying to make ends meet. Generosity can sound more painful and scary than joyful in seasons like this.
However, remember that God looks at our heart and intentions, not the amount of contribution. As the story of the widow’s mite in Luke 21:1-4 shows, Jesus praised the one who gave the least in earthly terms for giving “more than all”. Lay aside the fear of comparison or inadequacy, and look for how God has blessed you to give this year. God is honored when we choose to trust Him, and those acts of generosity draw us closer to Him, so give with joy, whether from finances or intangible assets like your time and talent.
Even in what has been described as unprecedented times, God has not changed, and He is not short on resources. This year-end season is a powerful moment for us to release fear or negative attitudes and to come join Him in His work. Pastor and author, Mark Batterson, in his book Whisper, says, “Negativity can keep us out of the promised land and cost us 40 years.”
So go forward with joy and end this year with an attitude to bless others, no matter the amount or how you do it. Think creatively and give to others as God has given to you: abundantly and with joy!