When giving requires sacrifice

Man looking at receipt

Giving requires sacrifice. When you give something away, you have less than you had before you gave. If you give time to others, you will have less time for personal hobbies. If you give your abilities in service to others, you will have less energy to use these same skills for your own pleasure. If you give money or things to others, you will have less to spend on yourself. That is the essence of giving.

Making money comes easily to Bob Cullen*, an Abundance Canada client. As a man of faith, he recognizes that with this canny ability comes the responsibility to manage his finances well. And part of that management involves giving generously to charity. Early in his life, Bob carefully examined his finances to determine how much his family needed to live on. Once he had settled on a figure, he made that his ‘financial ceiling’. All funds that come in above the ceiling, or beyond his needs, are given away to charity. The amount fluctuates through good years and bad, but he always has something to give.

All the funds that come in above and beyond Bob's needs, he donates. In good years and in bad, there's always something to give. #GenerosityMattersClick to Tweet

It wasn’t always easy to give generously in this way. We all experience those flashes of ‘just in case’ fear when it comes to our money. Or, delight in spending unexpected windfalls on luxuries for ourselves. However, Bob found that his ability to give sacrificially became easier over time. As a Christian, he feels that having money is an opportunity to share with others and that it never belonged to him in the first place, which makes it easier to let go.

That is a refreshing yet challenging view in today’s ‘me first’ culture. How often do we give what is left over, instead of planning to give irrespective of our circumstances? Most people intend to be generous, while few plan to be generous. It’s easy to think of our charitable giving as something we can do ‘down-the-road’ or when we have a good year. Yet, there is so much joy to be found in planning out our legacy of generosity.

What sort of things can you give beyond your ‘ceiling’ to benefit others? Maybe it’s a secondary property you can donate in your estate, or a strategic investment that can grow over years. Over the past 45 years, we’ve been helping people to strategically plan their charitable giving, and one of our gift planning consultants can walk you through this process by helping you understand what you have in terms of assets and review the causes you want to impact most and when you want to give. Planned generosity doesn’t happen overnight, it involves careful thought and, sometimes, sacrifice. And the potential return on your investment in the lives of others will be priceless.

Another client, Hugo, learned this lesson when he came across his father’s 1944 tax return. He says, “Generosity was not spoken about, it was just done.” People like Hugo and Bob look at wealth and money differently than our world does. They choose to give, even when it means less for themselves. Watch Hugo’s generosity story to see the joy of sacrificial giving in action.

Watch Hugo's story to see sacrificial generosity in action! https://youtu.be/-F0j6-quopgClick to Tweet

*Pseudonym used to protect the privacy of the individual.

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