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Radical Generosity for the Real World

Generosity is a way of living, not simply an act of giving.

a real-world experiment in generosity

In September 2014 LaSalle Street Church handed out $500 checks to its congregants, with the instruction to do God’s work in the world. This was a real-world experiment in generosity.

Love Let Go: Radical Generosity for the Real World is the story of these real people experiencing real freedom. And repeatedly that freedom began with small hesitant steps of generosity that became a way of life.

While it is the story of one church, it is the larger story of generosity and its potential when unleashed by you, me, and everyone else inhabiting this divinely and beautifully created planet. It is the story of loving and letting go.

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On Our Minds

Philanthropic redlining

Many in our generous community care deeply about racial equity, but we haven’t necessarily examined the relationship between philanthropy and race. This collection of resources from The Bridgespan Group can help jumpstart our learning in this area.

Generous prayer

“Prayer itself is an act of giving that can change the condition of your heart toward others.” We agree and recommend this one-minute read from Sheila Dolinger and the National Christian Foundation.

Women who give

In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, we honor all women who give generously. Learn more about women’s giving behavior in this article, in which perhaps the most eye-opening sentence is, “British author J.K. Rowling reportedly dropped off the Forbes list of billionaires because she gave so much money away through the Volant Charitable Trust.”

Three questions

What did you do today that you’re proud of? Is there anyone you need to apologize to? What do you hope for tomorrow? Those three questions are what Dr. Lakshmi Halasyamani, Chief Medical Officer of NorthShore University Health System and speaker at TEDxWilmette last week, asks herself each night before she goes to bed. Many Christians ask a similar set of questions using the Ignatian Daily Examen: Where did I see God today?, What am I thankful for today? What did I feel today?, What should I pray for?, and How do I feel about tomorrow? No matter which questions you use to reflect upon each day, the practices of reflection and gratitude nurture the generous life.

A norm of giving

Adam Grant’s book Give and Take discusses givers (and takers) in the workplace. Givers do things like mentor, share networks, and promote others’ ideas. His research supports social contagion theory, including this finding, “When the groups included one consistent giver, the other members contributed more. The presence of a single giver was enough to establish a norm of giving.” Where might you establish a norm of giving today?

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