We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
I’m a big fan of Crucial Conversations. It’s a book that I’ve summarized and instructed employees for more than a decade.
The six principles all help to have a conversation with someone that could drastically change an outcome for the better. Yet, the one that stuck with me is “start with heart.” There’s a cadence to the words and I find that I use it in more situations than just when a heated discussion occurs, or when I know negative feedback is the next right course of action. I also think of this simple phrase when I am thinking about donor relationships.
If someone who works for a nonprofit is talking to someone who knows about the organization and is not giving yet, the first place to start is with the heart. It’s not a conversation about your organization, it’s a conversation about their generosity toward God.
I read a quote recently in The Sower from Richard Foster that struck me again. He says, “God’s ownership of everything also changes the kind of question we ask in giving. Rather than ‘How much of my money should I give to God?’ we learn to ask, ‘How much of God’s money should I keep for myself?’ The difference between these two questions is of monumental proportions.”
I believe what Foster is asking is, “Do we start with heart?”
If we start with heart, then gratitude naturally follows. It makes it easy to use the words of 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 no matter if the person gives financially to our organization, to another organization, or not at all. It’s not just the heart of the donor that matters, it’s the heart of the person talking about the organization that matters, too. If we, as nonprofit representatives, can continuously pray for people, remembering the donor’s “work produced by faith, [their] labor prompted by love, and [their] endurance inspired by hope” we have started the journey right. And, hopefully, the donor can say the same about us.
In the end, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 encourages us to start with heart, to check ourselves and encourage donors to walk the same path in generosity, and to follow with praise.
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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.
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