The purpose of Stewardship Giving is to provide charitable financial support to organizations, causes, or passions that are valuable, important to you, and worthy of preserving. There are many layers of Stewardship Giving that a donor should know. Below are a few examples, characteristics, uses and other relevant features that can help you better understand the foundation of Stewardship Giving.
Understanding the broad aspects of Stewardship Giving is a good starting point. Typical examples of Stewardship Giving include the periodic giving to your church or place of worship (example: tithing), automatic routine deductions from your pay for local nonprofits that you support, or the fees you pay for your child to participate in various nonprofit sponsored activities.
These examples of stewardship giving all have several common characteristics, including but not limited to the following:
- They are smaller contributions;
- The contributions happen frequently;
- They are routinely included in your monthly budget.
Stewardship Giving is funded out of normal monthly cash flow from your paycheck or earnings. Typically, it isn’t funded from your savings or investments. Stewardship Giving is intentional, routine, and is periodically assessed for its value, amount, and contribution frequency.
From a nonprofit’s perspective, Stewardship Giving is the bedrock funding for an organization’s regular operational expenses such as a building, salaries, utilities, etc. Stewardship Giving is almost always the giving of “unrestricted” funds meaning the nonprofit can use these funds as they choose for operational expenses and where the funds are needed most.
Unrestricted funding provides the nonprofit with the flexibility to allocate these funds to meet the nonprofit’s mission best. Unrestricted funds use is similar to your household overhead expenses such as your mortgage, your car payment, homeowner’s insurance, or utility bills. Nonprofits have routine overhead costs just like we have our standard household, monthly or annual expenses. Of course, once the nonprofit pays for its overhead expenses, additional stewardship funding is used for the programs that meet the mission of the nonprofit.
As you can see, your Stewardship Giving is extremely meaningful and valuable as it serves as a foundation of support for nonprofits and causes that are close to you as a donor. It is important to recognize that Stewardship Giving is unrestricted and is accepted as such for the necessary preservation, protection, and continuing operation of the nonprofit.
As a donor thinking of stewardship charitable giving, ask yourself what your stewardship pledges or gifts should be, and to whom you want to give. My suggestion would be to identify 3-5 passions, causes, or organizations that are important to you. On an annual basis, determine and review how much you are willing to allocate in your routine spending in support of your Stewardship Giving. Remember, the stewardship funding is part of your normal monthly expenditures so you need to be cognizant and comfortable with the amount given.
By having a better understanding of Stewardship Giving and knowing the amount you spend in this category of your overall financial life, you can better understand and appreciate the role you play in preserving and protecting nonprofits and causes that are close to your heart.
Coming Next: Type 2: Experience the joy of Impact Opportunity Giving