TG, as we affectionately call it, is the foundational teaching of Mission Increase. As most of you know, we don’t teach fund raising practices from a traditional/transactional platform in our workshops and webinars, we teach fund raising from a TG perspective.
What in the world does that mean? Those of you who have been attending training for a while can usually articulate the meaning and application of TG, but not without choosing your words carefully and struggling to put it into language that resonates with those who understand fund raising. And even at that, really only grasp the basic concepts enough to explain them to someone else. Am I right?
So here it is, "Transformational Giving is a collaboration between you and God in which He infuses your corporate and personal assets with His grace as you offer them in the way He asks to the people and purposes that He directs." Not exactly an elevator speech.
So let me break that down for you:
1. Transformational giving is a collaboration between you and God
Most of the time we think of giving as something we do. But the Bible shows us that when God is on the scene, giving is not something we do. It’s a collaboration between us and God that occurs at God’s invitation. There’s no such thing as an act of authentic giving that God’s not on in. Giving can’t start with us. It can’t be done just by us. It’s not us initiating anything, and it’s not even us responding to anything. It’s something that can only be done with God. Simultaneously. Giving is a dance with God.
2. in which He infuses your corporate and personal assets with His grace
—our money, our possessions, our time, our emotions, our passions, our creativity. Corporate assets are the valuable things we have through our associations with other people—our friendships, our networks, our influence. In TG, God fills those assets to the point of saturating them. What does He fill them with? His grace. So our money becomes something more than money (and not just more money). Our time becomes something more than time. Consider the boy with the fishes and the loaves: his lunch becomes something more than lunch. This happens in the actual act of giving—hence the word "simultaneously" above.
To infuse means to fill something in such a way that it completely saturates it. Personal assets are all the valuable things we have personally.
3. as you offer them
Transformational Giving is always an offering to God. It may happen through a nonprofit (or it may not), but it is always an offering to the Lord. So it is offered reverently, humbly, expectantly, worshipfully, without thought of return, and without preconception of what God will do with it. The moment it becomes rote, it becomes as refreshing as stale, warm Mountain Dew left in the car. We don’t look to the nonprofit to transform the gift. We look to God to do that.
4. in the way He asks
If we listen carefully, God will always give us directives about our giving, and those directives extend far beyond ‘when’, ‘to whom’, ‘how much’, and ‘for what’. God will often give us detailed instructions as to how. ‘Throw the net on the other side of the boat’, ‘Go catch a fish and open its mouth’, ‘Sell all you have, give it to the poor, and come and follow me’ are the words of a God who pays exquisite attention to detail. How we give is at least as important to God as what, when, and why, yet this is the dimension of giving that draws the least attention in contemporary practice.
5. to the people and purposes that He directs.
God calls us to give in ways that directly connect us with the recipients of our giving and with the cause. In TG, we don't give to charity; we give through charity. That is to say, organizations are not the recipient of our donations; they are the means by which we are extended to encounter the recipient and the cause directly. That’s God’s way. He came Himself to give Himself. He didn’t send an intermediary. He doesn’t want us to utilize nonprofits as intermediaries, because He is at least as concerned that we be changed through our giving as that the recipient of our gift be blessed.
I invite you to attend the September workshop entitled, "Dig Deep into the TG Toolkit: Discover the Tools to Turn Fund Raising Monotony into Ministry" and to invite your boss and your board to join you. We will help you understand the biblical framework and take you through the practical application of TG as it relates to your fund raising strategy. Maybe then, your boss will be able to explain TG to you!