Timothy L. Smith
I’ve been a fundraiser most of my life. At the age of 19 I started in the work of fundraising and never looked back.
In this career path, I have been exposed to generosity of the greatest magnitude. But I’ve also seen that generosity is not something limited to the wealthy. Some of the most generous people I know are those who give from their small portions.
Over the course of my career, I’ve frequently been asked, “Tim, where do you get your motivation for this kind of career path?”
Some put it more bluntly. This is one of my favorites: “Why a fundraising career?”
The answers to these questions are very simple.
I turn to the very book that I’m working to provide a platform for, in our nation’s capital: the Bible!
I serve with Museum of the Bible as the Chief Development Officer. I’m tasked to lead a campaign to raise $1 billion as we establish a museum for the ages to honor and engage people of any faith and background with this great book — its history, narrative, and impact.
Among the central themes of the Bible are money and stewardship. And as we see again and again, the Bible is not simply a historic volume; it’s living and vibrant, and relevant to people’s lives. So, the Bible’s principles of stewardship are actually inspiring generous giving in our world today.
Let me show you how:
1. Generous people often give more than they are asked to give.
In Exodus 36:1-7, we see God’s people bringing more than enough to meet the need — to the point that Moses must tell them to stop! We don’t see too many campaigns today where givers are asked to stop giving! But when it does happen, it’s a special moment.
Giving to a cause that makes you reach for your very best gift can bring some of the greatest fulfillment you’ll ever know! Often, over-funding a project can create a broader impact. The project can accomplish more than it was originally designed to accomplish.
I worked on a project several years ago in response to the tsunami in Indonesia. People’s response was so great that we were able to establish long-term community development in that region of the world. Long after the disaster relief, we were still there, helping the people most affected.