Frequently Asked Questions
footprints-shoreline.png

Frequently Asked Questions

Generous Giving is here to proclaim the joy of giving and to help you and other Christians navigate a personal generosity journey. This page provides the answers to many frequently asked questions, which we hope you will find helpful.

What is Generous Giving?
Founded in 2000 by The Maclellan Foundation, Generous Giving’s mission is to spread the biblical message of generosity in order to grow generous givers among those entrusted with much. It was launched with a vision to stir a renewed, spirit-led commitment to generosity among followers of Christ. Our commitment is to provide safe, solicitation-free environments. We never seek donations, permit solicitation at our events or award grants.

Why was Generous Giving started?
We know that giving is more than an obligation for followers of Christ; it is an exciting opportunity to lay up treasure that will last for all eternity. “The Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35b). Yet statistics show that U.S. Christians give proportionately less than we did during the Great Depression—2.6 percent of our incomes as opposed to 3.3 percent in 1933. Today, like no other time in history, God has positioned His people with unprecedented wealth and opportunity to glorify the risen Christ by mirroring His generosity.

Does Generous Giving solicit money for its own use?
No. We will never ask you for money. Generous Giving is a privately funded nonprofit ministry that neither solicits donations nor employs fundraisers.

Does Generous Giving raise money for any ministry or any cause?
No. Generous Giving is not in the business of soliciting money for or recommending any cause. Instead, our organization strives to motivate followers of Christ to be generous with the money and possessions that God has entrusted to them, as they are led by the Holy Spirit. God invites all of His people to give generously for the advancement of His Kingdom.

Does Generous Giving give away money?
No. As a nonprofit educational organization, Generous Giving does not award financial aid or grants of any kind. Generous Giving exists to spread the biblical message of generosity in order to grow generous givers among those entrusted with much.

Aren't Christians already generous?
Some Christians are very generous, but as a whole, the answer to this question is a surprising "no". In America, the acquisition of wealth since the Second World War has far outpaced levels of giving. Christians are traditionally considered some of the most generous people on earth, and the amount of money we give to charities increases steadily each year; however, the amount given by Christians, by percentage, falls further and further behind levels of their aquired and accumulated wealth and prosperity.

What makes Generous Giving different from other Christian stewardship ministries?
Generous Giving is one of several ministries committed to teaching and promoting Christian generosity. We are blessed to work in cooperation with other stewardship ministry partners; they work within their areas of strength and we work within ours. While we have a few things in common with these other groups, there are significant differences that make our work necessary:
  1. We focus on building the faith of givers themselves rather than raising funds.
  2. We focus specifically on giving and generosity rather than budgeting, saving, investing, debt reduction and other aspects of stewardship.

What is the relationship between Generous Giving and the Maclellan Foundation?
The Maclellan Foundation, a recognized leader in Christian grant making for 60 years, launched Generous Giving in 2000 as an independent, educational organization to encourage followers of Christ toward lives of greater generosity. The Maclellan Foundation supports more than 200 ministries and charitable organizations each year, including Generous Giving. The Maclellan Foundation's purpose is to serve strategic international and national organizations committed to furthering the Kingdom of Christ, as well as select local organizations that foster the spiritual welfare of the foundation's hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Although the two organizations share office space, The Maclellan Foundation and Generous Giving are separate legal entities with their own separate  and independent boards of directors.

Is Generous Giving affiliated with any specific church or denomination?
No. Generous Giving is an independent, nonprofit ministry that acknowledges and accepts the truths of biblical and historic Christianity. The Lausanne Covenant is an excellent statement on the beliefs of evangelical Christians.

Does Generous Giving provide tax counseling, estate planning, and other financial advising services?
No. Generous Giving’s objective is to be used by the Holy Spirit in transforming people’s attitudes about money. We work to encourage followers of Christ entrusted with much to give generously. Because we address the question, “Why give?” we gratefully rely on the many capable Christian advisors to counsel givers on how, what and where to give.

Does Generous Giving try to influence people to give to any particular organization?
No. There are thousands of nonprofit Christian organizations in existence today, and Generous Giving does not influence anyone to support one over another. Generous Giving seeks to motivate people to give to whatever Kingdom causes God has placed on their hearts.

If I am in financial need, can you help me?
Generous Giving does not provide financial assistance, aid or relief to any person, group or organization. If you have a legitimate financial need, trust that God loves you and will provide for your needs, as He faithfully promises in Matthew 6:25-34. You can turn many places for help, where God's provision may be waiting.
 

Events FAQ

What types of events do you offer, and how often do they occur?
Generous Giving hosts a Celebration of Generosity once per year, usually in the spring. This two-day experience brings givers from around the country together to consider what it means to be entrusted with much and experience the joy of generosity and excel even more in the grace of giving. Usually 400 or more people attend this conference to be encouraged by teachings, stories, worship and peer-to-peer interaction.

Journey of Generosity retreats are 24-hour gatherings hosted by an individual, couple or organization. A trained facilitator, provided by Generous Giving free of charge, leads a small group in a deeper exploration of the life changing message of generosity. The intimate setting encourages discussion around stories and scripture.

Generosity One-Day events are 8-hour experiences that take givers through a series of live stories, teaching and videos that encourage meaningful discussion and challenge participants to take the next step in their generosity journey. These are hosted throughout the year in various locations, often in local churches.

Who attends your events?
The audience primarily consists of givers and prospective givers who are eager to learn from God's word, reflect on their personal giving habits, and discuss these habits in small groups with their peers. Ministry leaders are encouraged to attend with their key donors; pastors are invited to attend with their key church members; and professional advisors are welcome to attend with their clients. Ministry leaders, pastors, and professional advisors are welcome to register when they have three giving units (an individual or couple count as one giving unit). No solicitation of any kind is permitted at Generous Giving events. Ministry leaders and advisors may not collect contact information from other conference participants nor may they distribute business cards or other materials for the purposes of solicitation.

Are your events fund-raisers?
No. Generous Giving conferences are held in a safe environment where solicitation of any kind is never permitted. Generous Giving does not raise money for itself or for any ministry or cause; Generous Giving is privately funded. Instead, Christians are encouraged to sow generously with the money and possessions that God has entrusted to them; to recognize the unprecedented opportunity for investing in Christ's Kingdom; and to give to organizations that will bring them maximum joy and God maximum glory. But Generous Giving is not a "ministry fair," in which different organizations showcase their work or solicit funds. A Generous Giving conference is a time reserved for Bible teaching, worship and peer-to-peer encouragement.

Are your conferences–or my giving–important enough for me to rearrange my schedule to attend?
Yes. Anonymous surveys of our event participants regularly return positive reviews greater than 90%. The vast majority of our conference attendees tell us their participation is worth their investment in time and money to attend.

Christian giving not only supplies the needs of God's people, but it also nourishes the giver's walk with Christ. For some people, giving can feel joyless, even discouraging, yet over and over again, people who attend a Generous Giving event experience a radically fresh perspective on giving and a renewed sense of how God might use them to advance His Kingdom.

I'm already generous. Why should I attend an event?
Past Generous Giving events have shown that often those who are most generous toward God are also those most responsive to the radical message of joyful generosity that is presented at the Generous Giving Conference. The countless stories of those who have been challenged to be even more generous in their giving as a result of the teaching and stories they heard at the conference bears out the transformational power of attending a Generous Giving event.

 

Celebration FAQ

What happens at a Celebration of Generosity?
These events are designed to help Christians view generosity from God's perspective. As believers blessed by God with both spiritual and material riches, you will hear biblical teaching and personal stories from givers who have experienced the joy of giving to Kingdom causes. You will have an opportunity to exchange ideas and concerns with your peers, as well as to consider how your giving will impact eternity. No solicitation of any kind occurs at Generous Giving events. If you already have an eagerness or capacity for generosity, you will leave this conference affirmed in your spiritual calling as a giver.

Who should attend the annual Celebration of Generosity event?
The audience primarily consists of affluent Christians (individuals and couples of all ages, sometimes accompanied by their pastors, hosts or advisors).  Most are eager to learn from God's Word, reflect on their personal giving habits, and discuss them  informally with their peers. This is a safe environment for those entrusted with much to dialogue openly around the topic of giving.  It can be difficult for this dialogue to happen when there are professional ministry people in the room, who may eventually ask another guest for money (or be perceived as such), or when those who are struggling financially are present. 

I am a ministry representative, pastor, or financial advisor; and would like to attend the Celebration of Generosity.
The Celebration of Generosity is designed for Christians who have been entrusted with much. The event must create a neutral, non-solicitation environment, and therefore, we ask you only to attend if you are willing to honor this posture. We invite you to attend with your donors, members or clients, but ask that you sign-up at least three giving units (a unit is an individual or couple) before registering yourself. We also ask that you agree to not prospect for donors or clients or to solicit funds from guests while at our conference. Ministry representatives, financial advisors or consultants may not collect contact information from event participants nor distribute business cards or other materials for future solicitation.

How can I register for a conference?
All conferences are reserved for those who have received an invitation from Generous Giving. Once you receive an invitation, you may register online using a major credit card. Some donor advised funds, for example, The National Christian Foundation, allow their account holders to pay their Celebration of Generosity fees from their donor advised fund accounts.

How do I register if I am paying for the conference registration fee using my Donor Advised Fund account?
When registering for the conference using your DAF (Donor Advised Fund) account for payment, please register directly with our financial office in Chattanooga. Our staff will be happy to hold your registration, but the registrant must initiate the payment through a community foundation, or other DAF.  The registration will be held for two weeks and confirmed upon receipt of payment. The decision to allow Celebration of Generosity fees to be paid from a donor advised fund account is the sole prerogative of the donor advised fund. Generous Giving does not represent that "no goods or services are provided" as part of the Celebration of Generosity.

I have already registered for the conference. Is my lodging included in the conference fee?
No. You are responsible for making your own arrangements for travel and lodging. Please contact the host hotel to make your reservations.

I'm already generous. Why shouldn't I spend my money on a favorite ministry instead of your conference fee?
Past Generous Giving events have shown that often those who are most generous toward God are also those most responsive to the radical message of joyful generosity that is presented at the Generous Giving Conference. The countless stories of those who have been challenged to be even more generous in their giving, as a result of the teaching and stories they heard at the conference, bears out the transformational power of attending a Generous Giving event.

What is your event cancellation policy?
Cancellations received 10 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. Substitutions are welcome, but must be made 5 days prior to the event. No refund will be issued for cancellations received later than 10 business days prior to the event. No refunds can be made to registration fees paid by Donor Advised Fund (DAF) account; however, name substitutions are permitted and must be made 5 business days prior to the event. All requests must be in writing from the community foundation or DAF.

What is the conference attire?
Recommended dress for the general sessions and meals is business casual. Coats and ties are not required for the conference, yet we recommend that gentlemen wear a coat to dinner Friday evening.

How can I obtain audio or videos from past conferences?
Conference audio is available in the Conference Audio section of the Generous Giving website. Videos are available if they were captured and edited at the conference.

 
 

Stories FAQ

Generous Giving shares many stories about giving on their website. Shouldn’t giving be kept a secret? Randy Alcorn addresses this question from a Biblical perspective in this article about giving testimonies.

I am interested in sharing a video or audio message with others. How do I obtain permission to do so?
Generous Giving exists to spread the message of generosity. We encourage you to share the messages with your friends, family, church, colleagues, and others. There is no need to request permission to do so, assuming you are sharing the messages free of charge. Resale of any message is prohibited.

How do I download audio and video from your site?
Video: To download video, visit our Vimeo page by clicking here. Click on your desired video. Once you get to its page, there is a download link below the player that will let you select your desired format and resolution. 
Audio:  To download audio, right click (or control + click for mac users) on the audio title (not thumbnail) and select "Save Target As..."

How can I obtain audio or videos from past conferences?
Conference audios are available in the Conference Audio section of the Generous Giving website. Videos are available if they were captured and edited at the conference.


Back to Top