Why generosity isn't zero sum

Sometimes, we get into this revolving door thinking where we treat giving like a zero sum game: whatever is gained by one side is lost by another. We’d probably never come right out and say that. But it’s how a lot of churches think.


If there’s a limited amount of generosity, then if someone is generous with one thing, that means he’ll be less generous with another. If someone decides to give $10,000 to Red Cross or World Vision or to your church, it can only go to that one place and the amount givenor not givenwill remain the same.


In that scenario, one person loses and one person wins.


Rethinking our approach to generosity

Despite what we might implicitly think, generosity isn’t static. It can always increase and both the beneficiary and the recipient gain when something is given. We believe generosity is positive sum. We believe we can take that person giving $10,000 a year and actually grow her gift size to $15,000 or $20,000. We believe generosity can be increased.


How? By equipping 100% of your church to give; by inviting new people into a generous relationship with your church; by recapturing the joy of giving. 


That might seem a little crazy—20% of people in a church typically give 80% of gifts. But if 100% of people give, it will fundamentally transform the Church, making it known for generosity.


We started Kindrid because we know that generosity isn’t zero sum, that it can always increase and only needs to be unleashed. And, that the key to doing so is by engaging new givers.


We knew we needed to remove as many barriers to giving as we could. We were frustrated by how difficult it was to give. In our own experience, when it was difficult to give, we just didn’t.


So in response, we built Smart Giving to engage new givers—the people who don’t give because it’s too difficult. With Smart Giving, it only takes 30 seconds to register to give and after that, it’s as quick and simple as sending one text. Smart Giving opens up three new ways to give—text, online, and in-app—which means churches have three new avenues to increase generosity.


By using technology designed to engage new givers, we can actually increase the total amount that’s given. We’re not just redirecting gifts. We’re not just taking people who would have given by check or would have given by cash and asking them to give another way. Instead, we’re actually equipping people who would not have given otherwise to give.


Increasing generosity in your church

If you want to increase generosity in your church, start by assessing your thinking. Do you believe generosity is zero sum or positive sum? Assess the things standing in the way to increasing generosity, the things preventing 100% of your church from reflecting God’s generous heart.


We believe that if you make it easy for new givers to give, generosity will increase.

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Leighton Cusack
Leighton Cusack
Co-Founder and CVO
Leighton Cusack is passionate about reengaging churches in the generosity discussion and equipping them to give through Smart Giving.