I recommend The Age of Global Giving for its uncompromising delivery of practical advice for donors who give globally. You won’t find theological tangents or arguments why one should give. Gravelle has rescued the topic from spiritual and theological discussion ad nauseum; and yet I think a fruitful way forward, after reading this book, is refreshing theology in an age of global giving.
The dynamics of globalization and the speed of change have created greater complexity for Western missions. The Age of Global Giving provides accelerated learning for donors, church leaders, agency leaders, and mission workers. As a result, donors can achieve greater outcomes with deeper satisfaction in their giving and their voluntary work. Ministry workers can develop improved vision, values, and strategies that go further in creating sustainable impact and align with the donor values of today. It’s a new day in the relationship between donor and recipient, and it’s just in time because global mission is in dire need of this kind of cooperation.
- ISBN: 9780878085392
- Pages: 147
- Binding: Paperback
- Published: 2014
- Publisher: William Carey Library
One of the key arenas in which Satan has a foothold is in the relationship between donors and the ministries they support. Distrust, pride, insecurity,
imperfect information, fear, and miscommunication combine to give Satan the opportunity to create division within the body of Christ and to slow the
advancement of the kingdom. In this important book, Gilles Gravelle argues that ministries need to repent of a “pay, pray, and get out of the way” attitude towards their donors. In the place of this, he argues for a more biblical model in which donors and ministries see each other as full partners in ministry, seeking to humbly respect the full range of each other’s gifts and stewardship responsibilities. This is an important work addressing a very timely issue.
Gilles Gravelle makes the case for fully enfranchising an important and often missing partner in global missions—the major donor. For too long, donors with wealth and wisdom have been sidelined by ministries—thanked for their gifts and fed reports at a safe distance from “the real work.” There’s a new, activist generation of donors with more to give than a check. Gilles shows that ministries can successfully include the perspectives, faith, and financial investment of major donors and foundations, benefiting from seasoned business insights, advocacy, and passionate commitment to seeing
changed lives. The dividing wall of separation between donors and those leading ministry has been breached, and Gilles persuasively explains why it ought to come down altogether.
Giving is emerging as a key theme in the global Christian community. Scholars such as Ron Sider, Tom Sine, Jonathan Bonk, Vinay Samuel, Brian
Fikkert, Glenn Schwartz, and Mary Lederleitner have written on different issues around poverty, wealth, income inequality, a Christian approach to money, self-reliance, and mobilizing giving. In the US ministries such as Crown Financial Ministries, the National Christian Foundation, Generous Church, and Generous Giving facilitate thinking and engagement around giving related issues. One of the most important and most sensitive issues that have to be addressed is the relationship between donors and ministries. In a globalized and increasingly interdependent Christian community, Gilles Gravelle will definitely stimulate thinking and discussion around what Rob Martin of the First Fruit Institute calls “The Communion of Givers and Receivers.” That was the impact on me when I read the manuscript!
Everyone engaged in the giving or receiving of financial resources for kingdom purposes must read The Age of Global Giving. Here Gilles Gravelle succinctly presents the historic positions, persistent errors, and enormous potentials of effectual relationships between major donors and ministry implementers. The case Gilles builds for “relationships first” forms the foundation for trust and accountability that is essential in continuing and accelerating beyond the status quo in missions that has been carried forward from the twentieth century. Here is a guide that helps leaders with kingdom hearts expand their impact and influence through partnerships overshadowed by the cross of Jesus Christ.
Gilles Gravelle is right on target as to the heart of the emerging generation and its philanthropy. Breaking down the walls between organization and philanthropist is critical to engagement. Gilles gives practical steps to implement to help any agency wanting to grow their engagement with major financial partners. It all comes together like hand in glove when financial partners are involved at the strategic level with your organization.
List of Figures
1 The Role of the Donor: A Historical View
2 Dissecting the Status Quo
3 A New Relationship: Ways Forward
4 The Parachurch in Decline
5 Mission Reinvention—Is it Possible?
6 From Outcomes to Impact: the New Donor Focus
7 The Way Forward: Practical Advice