Use your heart and your head when giving
There are three uses for money—spending, saving and giving. People who call my show often have trouble controlling their spending. Some aren’t prepared for the future because they neglect to save. While these elements are essential to achieving financial peace, I believe giving things like money, or your time, produces greater joy than when they’re used for yourself. Giving is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do.
The late Zig Ziglar once said, “Giving is like a muscle. To be strong, you have to exercise it, and to grow as a person, giving is the exercise. You can’t really enjoy anything without sharing it.” Zig was right. Giving is like exercise—getting used to it takes time and practice. Doing it well takes a little work, too. Giving is one sign of a good heart, and God wants us to be givers because He knows what it does for us on the inside. Still, giving well means exercising your mind as well as your heart.
The Ramsey Family Foundation gives only to Christ-centered organizations, which is why it has been a friend of the Nashville Rescue Mission for many years. The Mission provides food and clothing for the poor and shelter and educational services to the homeless. Their statement of faith is featured prominently on their website and demonstrated daily in numerous interactions throughout the community. Even so, the Foundation did not take the decision to support the Mission lightly.
We are all stewards of God’s money and the other resources He entrusts us to manage. We have a responsibility to be thoughtful and wise in allocating His assets. So, when it comes to making a decision, it’s all right to take time and do research. The amount of diligence you put into the process should correspond to the amount you’re willing to give. There’s no reason to spend hours over a $20 donation. However, if you’re thinking about a gift of thousands of dollars, it’s perfectly okay to ask for transparency from the potential recipient. The Mission understands this and lists much of their financial information prominently on their website.
Learn about expense ratios and how much money goes toward administrative costs. Every organization has salaries and bills to pay, but these expenditures shouldn’t account for the majority of every dollar received. Don’t be afraid to ask for a tour. Often, you can get a feel for the spirit of an organization by walking around and talking to people.
God also gave us our minds and intelligence to be used for His glory. Being a good steward requires a selfless spirit and wisdom. When we use both, there’s no limit to what the people of God can do to further the kingdom of God!
Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations including 102.5 FM The Game in Nashville and 97.5 FM in Murfreesboro, weekdays from 1pm to 4pm CT. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and online at daveramsey.com.