Todd Eckhardt is the Director of Partner and Champion Development at World Gospel Mission in Marion, IN. More than that, he’s one of my favorite Transformational Giving minds because he’s working both in the trenches and at the frontier of TG thought. I asked for his permission to post here a recent email he wrote to World Gospel Mission missionaries and development staff. The two key points that he makes that I love are the difference between a tip and a gift (answer: it’s all in the involvement) and the reason why money is still one important measure of success in Transformational Giving (answer: because if people don’t give it means their involvement is superficial, not comprehensive). Great post. By the way, “CMS” stands for “Champion Migration Strategy”, World Gospel Mission’s custom formulation of Transformational Giving practices. Heeeeere’s Todd!
Money is not the end-all gauge to successful CMS, but it is a big part of it. After all, since a guiding principle of CMS is Transformational Giving, then finances must be a portion of the measurement for success. If giving is not happening, then finances are part of the reflection on your successful run at CMS.
In the magazine, Outcomes, David Willis discusses what he calls a Vision for Generosity. In this issue he distinguishes between what he calls ‘tipping’ and giving. Tipping happens when we simply exchange information (what we have taught in the workshops as transactional giving). So tipping is the equivalent of an offering for you after a service. Then you leave the church and that is all you ever hear from the church and their members. The offering sometimes is just a ‘tip’ for coming. The tip is based on your ‘service’. (Pun intended.) Good service good tip, bad service bad tip. Tough way to fund a ministry, huh?
Giving is more than this. Giving happens when participation and engagement occur. Giving goes far beyond the dollar. The dollar is part of it but it goes further. It is action-based, not spectator-based. It is relational. We are developing people, not accounts. Your account is a portion of the fruit but not all (i.e., Transformational Giving). Remember, works produce fruit, not fruits produce work.
So is it good CMS if funding goals are not reached? Not if giving is part of the transformation. Since giving is learned not latent and CMS is a teaching tool used to teach how giving is part of spiritual formation, the bottom line of an account can be one of several bench-marks for CMS being successfully implemented.