What is Generosity?

“Generosity is the virtue of giving good things to others freely and abundantly. It is a learned character trait that involves attitude and action entailing both the inclination and actual practice of giving liberally. It is not a haphazard behavior but a basic orientation to life. What generosity gives can vary: money, possessions, time, attention, aid, encouragement, and more but it always intends to enhance the true wellbeing of the receiver. Like all virtues, generosity is in people’s genuine enlightened self-interest to learn and practice.”        Definition from Christian Smith, The Generosity Project, Notre Dame

Generosity Learning Opportunities

Learning opportunities are available for those interested in building stronger annual pledge campaigns in your congregations.

With 22 years as a local church pastor and a history of success connecting people’s passions with generative opportunities and initiatives, Rev. Andrew Warner shares best practices and a wealth of experience with workshop participants.  Check out the webinars below!

Also, sign up for the Generosity Forward e-newsletter HERE to learn about new ideas, best practices, and training opportunities around congregational fundraising.

Annual Campaigns 101 Webinar

Choose a session:  Tuesday, Sept. 1, or Monday, Sept. 14, 5:30-7:00 pm

Join this webinar to develop and strengthen plans for a successful fall campaign. Several churches that joined this webinar last year reported improved results from their pledge campaigns!

“Ebenezer UCC followed the information from the Annual Campaign 101 webinar very closely. We used most of the materials presented, modified for us. This was much easier than creating a campaign of our own and the results were excellent. Andrew presented very useful and practical information.”  ~Ron Rindfleisch, Generosity Chair at Ebenezer UCC, Sheboygan

Designed for pastors and lay leaders planning an annual pledge campaign, we will explore ways to create an effective campaign. We’ll reflect on core purpose of a campaign, discuss practical steps leaders can take, and explore creative ideas to design a campaign uniquely suited to your congregation. Invite others in your congregation too!

There is no fee for participating in this webinar, however registration is required to receive the link to join the webinar.

Register for Sept. 1

Register for Sept. 14

Pastor and Leader Cohort for Fall Stewardship Campaign

Share and learn from your peers to strengthen your stewardship campaign

Pastors and congregation leaders have an opportunity to enhance their stewardship campaigns by connecting and sharing ideas and experiences with others. This fall, join an online “cohort” for stewardship campaign leaders using the Three Great Loves Stewardship Theme Materials. Participants will use an online forum to connect, ask questions, offer success stories, and learn together about what works in your setting.

Andrew Warner and Bob Olsen will moderate this online forum, offering their thoughts and sharing resources designed to strengthen stewardship campaigns. Participants will sign into the online site to connect with the moderators and other participants.

Participants will be able submit questions for the moderators or other group members, as well as adding their stories and information. The group could also choose to hold an online session for a group discussion.

Andrew Warner and Bob Olsen are development directors of the Wisconsin Conference and Minnesota Conference, respectively.

This cohort group is being hosted on the Damascus Project website.  This opportunity begins in August and will run through mid-November.  To sign up for the group (no charge), click on  the “Sign up here” link, then 1) click on the ACCESS box, and 2) provide your information to create a free account.  Sign up here

Generous Preaching

Sept. 15, Oct. 13, and Nov. 10, 2020
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Sign up here

Engaging scripture stories to share the spiritual practice of generosity with congregations

It can be hard to talk about money. And yet Jesus spoke about it often, second only to the Kingdom of God. Join Rev. Andrew Warner to explore how to preach and teach about generosity and the use of our financial resources.  Background materials and seminar style discussions will take place through the Damascus Project website.  Each month will focus on a specific set of readings. We will plan out at least one preaching opportunity for teaching generosity as a spiritual practice each month.

  • September 15: Exodus 16: 2-15, “Between Desiring Fleshpots and Divine Generosity”
  • October 13: 1 John 4: 1-7, “Beloved, Love”
  • November 10, Matthew 25: 14-30, “To Timid with Talents?”

What You’ll Get From Generous Preaching

As a student, you’ll get a few great benefits from being here:

  • It can be hard to talk about money.  And yet Jesus spoke about it often, second only to the Kingdom of God.  Explore generosity as a spiritual practice.
  • Connect with colleagues and scripture in new ways through leadership focused Bible Study.
  • Get results.Research underscores the connection between teaching about generosity and increasing revenue for a local church.  Learn how to talk about generosity outside of an annual pledge drive.

Rev. Julia Hollister, First Congregational Church, Sheboygan, WI:
“Through open and honest questions, Andrew and Kathryn helped us to discern how the scripture passages were speaking to us as individuals and how they might speak to our congregations. They bring a wealth of wisdom and ‘lived experience’ to their engagement with the text. The workshop brought a breath of fresh air to some familiar texts.”

Cultivating Generous Congregation

Online learning experience in 6 sessions beginning June 24!

Online sessions via Zoom, 5:30 – 7:00pm
Dates: June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, and September 2.
The program is designed for teams of 2 or more from a congregation (pastor plus lay leaders)
Fee: $50 per person
Workbooks will be mailed to participants
Register here

Cultivating Generous Congregations (CGC) is an interactive online learning experience that demonstrates how pastors and ministry leaders can unearth and energize congregational generosity by exploring the significant and necessary steps to creating lasting cultural change within a congregation.

Intended for teams of 2 or more from your congregation, you’ll benefit from the focus on application to religious organizations, while gaining access to cutting-edge research data from the Indiana University Lilly Family School on Philanthropy. You will learn the importance of integrating quality fundraising practices as one aspect of awakening generosity as a congregational practice. Participant dialogue will complement the written materials and presentation format that guide the seminar.

Interactive segments of CGC explore theology, the role of adaptive leadership, fiscal transparency and the importance of donor care, with action steps to impact the generosity exploration and experience for both laity and clergy.

This course is intended for those who:
• Believe in their congregation’s capacity for greater generosity
• Have a desire to become more comfortable with money
• Are willing to redefine giving in their congregation
• Understand giving to include service, social networks, and the sharing of ideas and professional expertise

Rev. Trent Williams, Friends Congregational Church UCC, 2018 CGC participant
“I can honestly say that CGC was one of the best and most useful professional development opportunities of my career. It offered practical, spiritually rich, and adaptable guidance that I was able to immediately implement in my ministry setting.”  (Read Rev. Williams’ full story.)

Orientation for New Congregational Leaders Webinars

These sessions were held in January.  You can view the webinars on demand – links listed below.

WEBINAR:  Treasurers and Financial Secretaries
This webinar reviews basic aspects of the treasurer and financial secretary roles. We discuss creating a “financial dashboard” to help fellow board members understand the finances of the congregation. And we talk about effective ways to record and thank donors for their gifts.  View the webinar here.

These handouts accompany the webinar. They’re also available below the video by following the above link.
–  Sample Conflicts of Interest Policy Statement
–  Kandy’s plan for accounting list
–  Webinar slides
–  Example of a financial dashboard as a one page handout to board members
– Example of the spreadsheet to create the dashboard graphics
– National Study on Congregational Economic Practices

WEBINAR:  Stewardship Chair and Team
This webinar introduces the concept of a 12-month stewardship plan. We focus on how to organize and lead an effective year-around practice of storytelling (or testimonials) related to generosity. National research clearly shows teaching about stewardship at least once a month correlates to increases in congregational giving.  View the webinar here.

These handouts accompany the webinar.  They’re also available below the video by following the above link.
– Handout for the webinar
– Sample Conflicts-of-Interest Policy Statement
– Photos of the “generosity cards” made by children in a church to be placed in the offering plate during worship
– National Study on Congregations’ Economic Practices

Contact Andrew Warner via email or at 414-758-6233

Donate Online

Sign up for Generosity Forward e-newsletter HERE

Sign up for our newsletter!


Contact Us

(608) 846-7880