Asking Effectively

Frequently, parish leadership discusses the challenge: “How can we increase parishioner support for (the parish budget, a new ministry, a building project…)?” We would do well to examine how we ask for funds from stewards, drawing from nonprofit fundraising research and experience in our Orthodox Christian environment.

Don’t forget to ask (personally). The number one reason people give is surprisingly simple: they are asked! From time to time, the call to give may seem “obvious” and may have been broadcast through the bulletin and from the pulpit. But unless a steward is personally asked, ideally in the most individualized way possible, they will not likely take the action of giving. Read More →

Candles, Thank You.

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Each Sunday morning we swing the big wooden doors of Saint George Church open as a welcome, and in doing so, allow the sounds of New York City to serve as a backdrop to our worship.  My favorite sound as I face the altar during worship is to hear the clip-clop of the horses pulling the hansom cabs toward Central Park, though they are often drowned out by the sirens from Midtown North Precinct across the street.

Change comes slowly to an old city parish where, during the difficult years of mass exodus from the city, churches struggled to survive.  Though once a hub of community activity, many small New York City parishes were forced into survival mode just to keep their doors open.  Read More →

Testimonial: St. Spyridon and the Promise

St. Spyridon might not be the patron saint of tithing, but for one family, his intercession led them to tithe

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Icon of St. Spyridon courtesy of Holy Icons.

There was an event, a moment, when we began to tithe, and it took me entirely by surprise.

My jaw literally dropped when my husband told me we were going to begin tithing, giving 10% of our income to our church.  How much we give has been a difficult and ongoing discussion since even before we were married.  I come from a family of limited means that tithed without excuses, and I expected the same from my own newly-forming family.  On the other hand, my husband understood tithing as the goal, but when he assessed our financial situation, he couldn’t see room for that level of giving.  To be fair, I don’t worry very much about what is in our bank account now or in the future.  So, we started our married life giving a small percentage of our income, but we were committed to slowly increasing that percentage until we reached tithing.  Read More →

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Planning is the most important step in your parish project

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If Jim could offer one bit of advice to a parish about to begin raising funds for a large project, it would be this: Don’t shortchange the planning process. Once your project’s concept is approved, it’s a natural inclination to jump right into asking people to give.  Jim and his parish, however, chose the wisest course of action for a parish on the verge of a major fund raising project—to begin with a Planning Study.

In brief, a Planning Study is an assessment before fund raising begins of the parish’s readiness and capacity for fund raising; it requires several months and usually some financial investment to complete. It should be carried out by a trusted outside source that will tell the parish not what it wants to hear but what it needs to hear about the viability of the project.  Read More →

About Us

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” James 1:17 (NKJV).

We chose this verse for our blog because it highlights a central truth about giving: everything we have comes from God, so our act of giving is simply offering back what was first given to us.

Everygoodandperfectgift.org is the work of the Office of Parish Development of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In this blog, we seek to build a one-of-a-kind resource that will help individuals grow the spiritual practice of giving back in multiple ways and assist priests and parishes with spreading this message to our faithful.

ArchdioceseSeal_GoldFoilVisit our webpage at www.development.goarch.org
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