A few years ago, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett (two of the world’s wealthiest men) came up with “The Giving Pledge.” It is a campaign to encourage the wealthiest people in the world to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropic or charitable causes. The campaign specifically focuses on billionaires. As of February 2014, 122 individuals and couples have signed the pledge.
Churches and charitable organizations trying to raise money are always thrilled when wealthy individuals commit to support their causes with substantial gifts. If a capital campaign is going to be successful, it must have several large gifts. Those commitments are normally sought up front so that the size of the gifts can be used to motivate others to give sacrificially.
Rejoice when wealthy donors make those large gifts to your campaign—it is not likely you will reach your goal without them. However, don’t overlook the “small” gifts. Not only do those small gifts mount up, but more importantly, they represent the commitments of individuals who are just as devoted to your cause (and possibly even more so) than those who are capable of contributing large amounts.
You want everyone to experience the joy that comes from participating in the effort. You want each person to feel the satisfaction of making a sacrificial gift and knowing that they’ve done their part in helping you reach your goal.
Think about the woman whom Jesus praised when she put her penny into the offering plate. Those who judged a person’s gift by its amount dismissed her gift as insignificant. Jesus, on the other hand, assessed her gift not by its amount, but by the sacrifice she made. Jesus concluded that this poor widow put in more than all the others.
When judging the success of your campaign pay attention to the “small” gifts. When expressing gratitude to those who give the big donations, make sure you give equal thanks to those who give the “small” gifts. In God’s eyes, they may be the most important gifts of all.