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My giving journey: One philanthropy donor tells their story

Faithful stewardship sees giving multiplied beyond comprehension.

Ruth Jackson Portrait Ruth Jackson
4 min

What would you do if you truly believed that everything you have belongs to God? 

For one long-term Christian philanthropist, who has a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) account with us, this conviction has fuelled a remarkable journey of generosity and faithfulness.

In a candid interview, they share how embracing the role of faithful steward has unlocked profound joy and the ability to see God multiply their resources in miraculous ways. From the pivotal decision to go beyond the tithe to the strategic use of a donor-advised fund, this donor's story offers a refreshing perspective on the blessings that flow from open-handed giving and an unwavering trust in the Lord's provision.

Stewards of God's assets

Since becoming a Christian, a long time ago, I’ve held the belief that everything we have is on loan to us from God. We get to be stewards of the assets that are rightfully His. So, if He says to tithe, we must tithe.

Our situation is that we have been extremely blessed financially, so we get to give way beyond the 10%. There is no point in us being the richest in the graveyard. We know that money has an element of power and so gets stuff done. We want to use the money we have to leave a permanent legacy - not just creating a pile of cash but changing people’s lives for the better.

When humans add 2 and 2, it equals 4, but God has this wonderful ability to put 2 and 2 together and make 22. Sometimes you only have a relatively small amount of money, but using it at the right time, in the right place, means you see phenomenal, miraculous results. No matter what you’ve got, it’s important to be faithful with it, and trust that God can multiply what we have beyond our comprehension.

I remember reading Matthew 19:29, early in my faith journey, which says if anyone forsakes family or friends for the kingdom, they will be repaid 100 times over. I thought, is this true? And all these years later I can say that it has definitely been our experience – sometimes we must make sacrifices, but God always repays us, often 100 times over.

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Anonymity and flexibility of the DAF model

One of the big benefits of Stewardship is that you can hide behind a Stewardship-shaped fig leaf. The benefit of anonymity is brilliant, and it is a really important feature for us.

The DAF is also very helpful for managing our business cash flow, and the related tax implications. For example, we had a meeting a few weeks before the end of the tax year and worked out how much we needed to give away to maximise the tax benefit. Realistically, it would have been difficult to distribute that figure to different charities within the space of a couple of weeks. But, because we use a Donor Advised Fund, we can put it all in our Stewardship account, optimise our tax position, and then distribute the funds over the next few months without the time pressure.

Additionally, the DAF gives us access to Stewardship’s in-house team of experts who can carry out due diligence checks on the charities we are wanting to support. This is especially important for us when we want to give internationally but are unsure about the internal workings of the cause.

The biggest highlight is seeing the money we give being put to godly purposes and achieving wonderful things. I’ve been told that there are people alive today who wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for our giving, which is such a joy to hear.

How would you encourage others to embark on their giving journey with Stewardship?

I see the principle of tithing as being fundamental. Go beyond that amount and you get even more joy from seeing funds being used by God to achieve all the things He wants to on the earth.

All the same things apply whether you are giving £50 or £50,000. The money could buy you a nice meal, or a nice car. But if you start thinking about what it’s costing you, you’re not looking at it in the way God’s looking at it. God is rich and generous enough to say, “Give it away and I’ll give it back to you again”.

Essentially it comes down to your view of God. If you believe in a poor, mean God, then that’s the experience you will have. But if you have it in your heart that you have a rich, generous God, then you can start to behave in a much more generous fashion. God will never see you without if you follow his generous example.

I came into this earth with nothing, and I will leave with nothing. The question is, what have I done with what I had on loan from God in the meantime?

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Written by

Ruth Jackson

Ruth is leading the PR and Communications for Stewardship. She joined Stewardship in April 2022.

She has over 25 years’ marketing communications experience across a range of sectors, including higher education, technology and the arts, both business- and customer-facing. 

Ruth worships at C3 Church in Cambridge, where she lives with her husband and two teenage daughters. When she’s not at her desk, you might find her rowing on the River Cam, in a ballet class or out for a walk.

She supports causes that are focused on alleviating global poverty and injustice, with a particular interest in supporting vulnerable children.

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