Regular giving during the cost of living crisis
As we face a cost of living crisis that will hit the most vulnerable the hardest, the charities that you support are trying to find ways to ensure they can continue to be there for the people that you care about in their hour of need. Many charities depend on regular donors, and that in turn helps the people they serve to depend on them. But with opportunities to give to sponsorship, crowdfunding, and emergency appeals, why would we set up a boring old monthly gift, especially in a cost of living crisis?
Here are four reasons:
1. Because there’s biblical encouragement
In Paul’s first recorded letter to the Corinthian church, he urges the Corinthians, as he had the Galatians, to set aside a sum of money for the collection for the Lord’s people ‘on the first day of every week’ (1 Corinthians 16:2, NIV). Here Paul was establishing the principle of setting aside a proportion of your income to give to God regularly.
The book of Corinthians has only recently been translated for the Mpyemo people in the Central African Republic. Following Paul’s instructions, each week people proceed to the front of the church, sometimes dancing, to bring their worship offerings of money and food offerings from their fields.
In our culture, we’re more likely to get paid monthly than weekly or even daily, and so monthly giving allows us to follow Paul’s principle of generosity.
2. Because it’s more convenient for you
For those of us who can find giving challenging, regular giving reduces the pain and removes the fatigue from decision making.
Personally, my wife and I make one hard decision a year on our giving – what proportion of our income we’ll give away. After that, the money goes out of our bank at the start of each month into our Stewardship account. Most of that is allocated in monthly gifts to our local church and our favourite causes, with a bit of a buffer that allows us a pot of money to give from spontaneously as we feel led. Making one decision, sticking to it, and giving at the start of every month means we don’t feel fatigued by flipping a coin each time to decide how much we’ll give supporting charities.
3. Because it helps churches and charities budget and plan effectively
For those of us on fixed incomes, it’s very helpful to know how much our employer is going to pay us each month! It allows us to budget and plan for the future.
Charities are the same. At Wycliffe Bible Translators where I work, we produce an annual budget that determines how much we expect to raise, and how much we hope to spend supporting Bible translators around the world as they bring God’s word to their communities in the language which speaks to them best.
The more funds that we have committed at the start of each year through regular giving, the more we can commit to supporting local Bible translators working around the world. In the midst of the cost of living crisis and economic uncertainty, Wycliffe’s regular donors allow our partners to continue working on what God has called them to, without the additional burden of financial concerns.
4. Because it allows better outcomes for those you care about
1 in 5 people worldwide don’t have the Bible in their language. So, Bible translators like Aristarchus Gesa are working towards a world where everyone can know Jesus through the Bible.
After 12 years of hard work, Aristarchus and his team finished the translation of the New Testament into Lunyole, a Ugandan language spoken by over half a million people. But Aristarchus tells me, “We are not done. Why should we not have the full Bible when so many others have had it for centuries?”
The work that Aristarchus does to bring an accurate translation of the Bible to his people takes time. So does youth work. Church planting. Environmental campaigning. God can use our regular giving or tithe to bring about sustained change for the people and causes he’s laid on our heart.
By supporting the charities you care about with a monthly gift (e.g. through becoming a Give the Word partner) even through the cost of living crisis, you are helping the people and causes you care about to experience lasting change.
How can we help those in crisis?
It is often difficult to give when times are hard for us too, especially when the whole country is gripped by crisis. Taking action at this time will look very different depending upon each of our individual circumstances. For some, it might mean changing how much they give. For others it could be considering some new charities to give to on a regular basis.
Whatever you choose to do, we want to continue to support you throughout this crisis. We are regularly posting blogs to encourage you, as well as sharing guides and resources that can assist you in being actively generous.
In addition to the ones mentioned here, there are many more charities that you can support to help people in the UK who are in crisis. You can search for them on our website and use a Stewardship Giving Account to strategically channel your money to where it is needed the most.
You can also choose to support Stewardship's Cost of Living Response Fund to find out how you can share the hope of Jesus at a time of crisis.
Giving in action
If you would like help in choosing which causes to support, then you might find the list of featured charity partners on our UK Poverty and Debt CauseFinder™ page useful.
Do you need the £400 energy rebate that the Government will apply to bills automatically from October 2022? If not, then you might like to pass on that saving in your giving. If you are able, you might also like to consider increasing your giving by 9%, in line with inflation.