Understanding the Big Why of Giving

Understanding the Big Why of Giving

by Bill High

Not long ago, I sat in a ministry presentation. The ministry was clearly trying to win the crowd to gather support for its ministry.

It was a fairly typical presentation. They described who they were, and they listed the numbers behind the impact they were making. And they made a call for support.

But they failed to present the big why. Most importantly, they did not understand that their ministry—in and of itself—was not the big why. It never is.

What is the big why? The big why is the overall strategic reason for the organization’s existence. For instance, Young Life is not the big why. Reaching young people, however, is a big why. The reason why Young Life exists as an organization is to reach young people.

So often we tend to elevate an organization as the big why. The organization is only a tool, however, to reaching a goal or fulfilling a call. We tend to represent the organization as the first answer. In reality, that which motivates us—reaching young people—is the first answer. How we reach young people may be accomplished in many ways.

By keeping in mind the big why, we can better keep ourselves, our givers, and our staff focused upon what is truly important. That is the cause, not the organization. May we never confuse the cause with the organization.


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Published September 13, 2010

Topics: Nonprofit Development

FundraisingNonprofit Development

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