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Connections across the Dakotas: Sheri Meister discusses fostering generosity

By: Doreen Gosmire and David Stucke, Dakotas Conference Communications

In this episode of Connections Across the Dakotas, Doreen Gosmire interviews Sheri Meister, president of the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation, about fostering generosity. Even in the midst of the COVID pandemic donors are willing and ready to give. How and when should you approach donors? Here are some of the key ideas shared by Meister.

  • Generosity is an expression of joy and faith for donors. "Someone gives outside of themselves, to a bigger cause. Generosity is when anyone gives part of their resources away—money, time and talents. It is not about the amount of money that you give, it is about giving outside yourself."
  • Generosity is tied to scripture: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
    Matthew 6:21 (NRSV)
  • Stewardship and leadership go hand-in-hand by modeling giving, defining mission, and sharing Good News. "You need to share your story."
  • Planning and timing for a stewardship campaign should be based on assessement. "Sit down and map out what you have, what you need, what is our vision, and how do we reach out and fullfill that vision."
  • It is all about building a relationship. Leaders will need to ask a donor for a gift. However, it is important to build a relationship before the ask. 
  • Match the donor's passion with the mission and ministries of your church. 
  • Keep building on your vision and mission, the stewardship plan will follow your strategic vision. "Always remember that donors will be asked to give somewhere. Keep their gifts aligned with the passion for ministries of your church."
  • The Dakotas UM Foundation can help set up endowments, bequests, aligning gifts to donors' passion for ministry, coaching church leaders through assessment and asking for the gift. 

"The ask is the most fearful, but sometimes it comes so naturally."

Resources: 
Dakotas United Methodist Foundation: website | email | phone 605-990-7790
Making the ask, read article here.
 

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