Wyden Your Horizons!

The Newsletter of VanderWyden Consultants, Inc.
We Specialize in Fund-Raising Through Faith-Raising
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Providing Professional Giving Counsel
for Churches & Non-profit Organizations

Capital Fund Campaigns - Operating Budget Campaigns - Planned Giving
Wyden Your Horizons and Find The Joy of Generosity

November 2009 - INSIDE THIS ISSUE. . .

1. Giving Thanks Click
2. There's No Shortage of Money Click
3. About VanderWyden Consultants, Inc. Click
4. Subscribe / Unsubscribe Instructions Click

Giving Thanks

In this November edition of Wyden Your Horizons! we share insights about the differences between giving and possessing in providing fulfillment in life.

As we enter the holiday season later this month, I'd like to share a very inspiring experience I've had lately. For the past few years, I've sponsored a child in Guatemala by giving $30 a month through World Vision. $30 a month is not much to give. Much of the world survives on just $1 a day. So $30 a month to sponsor a child can enable them to have a better life beyond just surviving. A couple of months ago I got a notice that I could no longer sponsor that child!

At first I was shocked and dismayed. But then as I read on further in the notice I was filled with joy. Through my giving and the giving of many others, "my child's" community has been transformed. They now have good homes to protect them from the elements. Parents have been trained for new jobs that can enable them to provide for their families; they have also been provided with resources to grow crops that can help to feed their families. A school has been built to provide education for children and a well has been dug to provide clean water. Individuals in the community have been trained in healthy cleanliness habits and regular medical checkups as well as medical treatments are now available. I think this is a remarkable accomplishment! I have now been asked to sponsor another child, and obviously I'm happy to do so.

When I'm asked by my family what I would like for Christmas, the last few years I've stated that I really don't need anything, but that I would be happy if the money would be spent to provide for others. The last couple of years, my grown children have bought "goats" and "chickens" through Heifer Project International. Once again, I find much more happiness by knowing that others who are truly in need are being provided for, and that my children are learning the joy of giving for causes beyond our family.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this experience, as I'm sure you, our faithful readers, are also generous givers, and that you also give generously through your churches and through the many other agencies, like those mentioned above, who provide hope for those who are truly in need.

Our world leaders are telling us that we need to spend more to bring the world out of the global recession. I would suggest rather that giving more is a better solution. I know I'm preaching to the choir, that you join me in this insight. This year we together can bring hope by truly "Giving Thanks," by giving more generously, as there as so many more struggling this year due to the recession. By giving we not only help others, we also remind ourselves that we truly are fortunate, that we have many blessings, and that we have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for you, our readers, and pray that you have a most blessed Thanksgiving and holiday season.

If you have inspiring stories about the difference that giving can make, like the one mentioned above, and you would like us to share them with our readers, or if you have any other questions about our services, don't hesitate to contact us through our toll-free line, (888) 245 -5826, or by email: Bill@WydenYourHorizons.com.

We are always happy to share our insights and learnings about the wonderful ministry of fund-raising through faith-raising. We delight in enabling individuals, churches, and non-profit organizations to Wyden their Horizons by finding the Joy of Generosity. In our ministries we use programs that involve no-pressure on individuals to give, but which instead are pleasant and painless. We have found that when members and donors give because they want to, rather than being pressured to, they give wholeheartedly and far more generously. We are also happy to share the insights of our readers in this newsletter. If you would like share your experiences drop us a line through our email address. May God continue to bless your ministries and community service programs.

 There's no shortage of money

"That’s the whole meaning of life, trying to find a place for your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. That’s all your house is, it’s a place to keep your stuff, while you go out and get more stuff! Sometimes you gotta get a bigger house. Why? Too much stuff!" ~ George Carlin

"We are living from pay check to pay check. We have so many bills, and expenses, we just never seem to get caught up. Money is a major source of anxiety in our family. We have more than our parents did, but we have so many more expenses. We would think that we should have enough, especially when we work so hard to make money to support our family." 

"Our church has been struggling financially for several decades. Every year it seems to get worse. Our members are good people. But our members say they can’t give more. Of course they have to take care of their own expenses first. So there’s not much money left over for the church after they pay for all of the things that they need. There’s just not enough money to support the church’s ministries." 

In my 22 years of assisting churches with their fund-raising needs, I have heard the above lamentations many times. Millions of individuals continually struggle to pay their bills, and millions of churches continually struggle to fund their ministries and programs.

But there’s really no shortage of money. Even with the financial losses of 2008, Americans are over 500% wealthier (adjusted for taxes and inflation) than we were 50 years ago. Americans’ homes are twice as big and we have twice as many cars. We go out to eat 3 times as often as we did 50 years ago, and we take more expensive vacations. Many Americans now have garages that are as big as middle-class homes were in the 1950s, and we own more extravagances, have more expensive pastimes, and have more and more possessions. Due to the spread of capitalism in developing countries like China, Brazil, and India, millions more around the world have the opportunity to have more possessions and far more wealth than previous generations, and many are aspiring to have the "American lifestyle" to own more possessions and to have nicer homes and other conveniences that Americans have.

To fight the Global Recession, governments around the world have poured trillions more dollars into the world economy through "stimulus packages." And more billions of dollars are "sitting on the sidelines" un-invested by those individuals who are waiting for a clear sign that the present stock market increases are dependable, and by those who will "never invest their money in the stock market again."

There's really no shortage of money; there is rather a glut of misperceptions and misplaced priorities about money. Consequently, millions have unfulfilling lives and churches struggle to fund the programs and ministries that are vital to our communities. During these same past 50 years, as Americans have become more and more wealthy compared to previous generations, giving to churches has been a steadily declining percentage of incomes. Yet many Americans are unhappy even though we have significant wealth.

The Great Recession of 2008 occurred because as millions around the world collected more "stuff" they had to build bigger and bigger homes to house their "stuff." Governments deregulated financing requirements, banks offered adjustable rates mortgages and developed intricate forms of leveraging, and credit card companies increased borrowing limits to enable more individuals to own homes and buy other possessions that they really couldn’t afford. In the 1950s Americans had minimal amounts of personal debt, but just before the beginning of the Great Recession of 2008 personal debt had reached 102%, and nations and corporations also had taken on huge amounts of debt. And then the debts came due!

Now millions are trying to recover what they lost, others are struggling to make ends meet, and others have lost their jobs, homes, and hope. Yet there is no shortage of money. Rather there is a great inequity and inequality of distribution of resources. The gap between the very wealthy and everyone else has also grown dramatically in the last decade. Yet many of those who are very wealthy are unhappy, unsatisfied, and consumed with having more.

So even though millions of individuals have more abundant lives than previous generations, they are unhappy. Having more money than their ancestors has become more of a burden than a blessing for millions of individuals. They have become seduced by the belief that having "stuff" can bring happiness. We are constantly bombarded by infomercials that tell us that we need to buy this "stuff," or the "stuff" we have isn't good enough, so we need the "new and improved stuff."

Churches can play a key role in helping to overcome this malady, by reminding our members of Jesus' teachings about money and possessions, and the blessings of giving for the giver. Yet many pastors hesitate to talk about money for fear of upsetting some members. But to censure a topic that is such a source of fear, upset, discouragement, and worry to so many, is to neglect their physical and more importantly their spiritual well-being. The Christian faith has a message of wisdom and hope for times like these. The Bible is replete with stories of communities who endured tough times, who did with less, and yet who shared more generously with each other and with others in need. I cannot think of a better time to ask members to give more generously to their churches, so that our churches can provide the vital ministries and the programs for those who are truly struggling in our communities and in the world.

Moreover, in asking members to give, we are providing hope and guidance to those who are being seduced by possessions. You help them to re-examine their priorities, and to realize that God does provide abundantly of what is really necessary for healthy, happy, whole, fulfilling lives. Asking members to join together in giving generously to make a difference in the world helps them to realize that they have more than most and that they are truly blessed. Asking them to give for good causes brings meaning to their lives, builds self-worth, and enables them to be role models for their communities. In this process churches will also find that they can raise the funds they need to provide their essential ministries to members and their communities.

God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may be able to share abundantly in every good work. II Corinthians 9:8

The above is an excerpt from a book I am writing, "There's No Shortage of Money: The Agile Attitudes of Thriving Churches and Members." Top


VanderWyden Consultants provide professional fund-raising guidance to churches and non-profit organizations throughout the United States who require assistance with their fund-raising. We provide professional guidance for Capital Fund Campaigns, Stewardship Operating Budget Campaigns, Planned Giving Campaigns, Comprehensive Financial Feasibility Studies, and Workshops on the dynamics of stimulating growth in membership. If you would like to meet with us, since we provide our services throughout the United States, we can be available to meet with your leadership. If your church would like to host one of our Professional Workshops for churches or non-profit organizations in your area, we can provide a discount in our services for your church.
Or if you would like to explore how our services may help you to meet your needs, don't hesitate to call us through our toll-free number (888 -245-5826) for a no obligation free professional consultation.

Our staff has conducted over 350 successful campaigns throughout the United States. Our "Joy of Generosity" Capital Fund Campaign program enables churches to raise as much as 13 times existing giving levels, and our "Wyden Your Horizons" Operating Budget Stewardship program results in increases of 15 - 45%.

All ideas and commentaries in Wyden Your Horizons are copyrighted. Quotations may be freely used when the source is cited. Top


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Rev. P. William VanderWyden, CFRE
President VanderWyden Consultants, Inc.
Headquarters -118 Westchester Drive, Amherst, Ohio 44001
Toll-Free Phone: 888-245-5826 (888-Bill-Van)
E-mail: Bill@WydenYourHorizons. com
Web: www. WydenYourHorizons. com