Perspective

19 ways to be generous this summer

It’s amazing how the Lord can use a small gesture of generosity to make a big impact. This summer, we encourage you to take advantage of the extra time with friends and family to think of creative ways you can give together every day.

To help you get started, here are 19 simple ways to be generous this summer:

  1. Talk to strangers: Look for the opportunity to encourage at least two people who God puts in your path today. Slow down, and take a moment to really listen and connect. You never know how a small word of kindness could make a big impact.
  2. Take a vacation day from digital: Put down your phone, close the laptop, and give the gift of uninterrupted time to your family and friends. Make it a priority to savor the time together, and encourage everyone to look at life through each other’s eyes, rather than through the lens of the phone camera.
  3. Go on a family giving adventure: For the first time in months, charities and churches are opening back up and welcoming in-person volunteers. Set up a time with an organization and surprise your kids or grandkids with a service opportunity. Or choose a nonprofit together by signing into your Giving Fund to search charities by cause.
  4. Help a teen (or someone else) get a job: Many teens are applying for jobs, and others are trying to bounce back from pandemic unemployment. Help them create a resume, practice interviewing, or find an outfit – or give them a ride to their interview. Boosting their confidence could be life-changing.
  5. Research your family giving story: Where do your beliefs about money and giving come from? And where are they going with the next generation? As you gather with family members you may not see that often, take advantage of the time together to ask questions and uncover defining moments.
  6. Explore your giving passions: Do you know who your family supports and why? Now is the perfect season before the year-end appeals come flooding in to explore what causes and charities God is calling you to support. Contact your NCF team for a Giving Strategy exercise that can help you do just that.
  7. Empower someone to make their first grant: Share the joy of generosity by opening a Giving Fund for a family member, friend, or employee. Tell them how you use your Fund, choose charities, and budget for giving. Then, plan a celebration for when they make their first grant.
  8. Babysit for friends: As the pandemic eases, many couples and single parents with small children desperately need some down time. With most people living away from extended family these days, free babysitting can feel like an extravagant gift to a weary parent.
  9. Share your bounty: If your garden is overflowing or it’s time to empty your fridge before vacation, donate to a community fridge near you. Find one near you at freedge.org, or learn how to start one in your neighborhood.
  10. Take time out to tutor: Remote learning has left many children far behind. To catch up this summer, they need individual instruction, but often their family can’t afford it. Contact your local school or children’s charity to see if you can lend your skills to tutor a student near you.
  11. Call instead of text: Look at your texts or emails and make it a point to call someone who you haven’t actually spoken to in a while. If you have to leave a voicemail, share your favorite verse or a silly song. It’s a simple way to spread joy and a nice alternative to digital connection.
  12. Spread good news: Notice someone in your neighborhood doing something generous or uplifting? Does your church or favorite charity have some good news to report? Take a minute to send a story tip about them to a local reporter. We could all use more good news these days!
  13. Encourage your encouragers: Tell your spouse, parent, grandparent, or someone else who has influenced you, how they have blessed you. Start with: “The greatest gift you ever gave me was _____,” or “I want you to know how much it meant to me when you _____.”
  14. Support the art(ist)s: Tell a worship leader, a Christian writer or speaker, a painter, or another artist you admire how much their work has encouraged you. It’s been a hard year for many who work in the arts, and their importance is often overlooked in the body of Christ.
  15. Celebrate Christmas in July: As you vacation this summer, dream big about how God wants you to give in the future. Now is a great time to start planning your year-end giving, before the rush of autumn kicks in. Contact your local NCF team to discuss opportunities to maximize your resources with non-cash giving while there’s still plenty of time.
  16. Make someone’s day with a playlist: Support a friend with a Spotify playlist of worship songs or music that speaks to their situation. Send it along with a note like, “Listen to this when you’re lonely on the long drive home,” or “Play this to pump you up before your next surgery.”
  17. Start a generosity book club: Call some friends or ask your small group if they’d like to join you in discussing a generosity classic or a new book that’s inspired you. For ideas of books that cover a variety of generosity topics, check out our Generosity Library.
  18. Keep a generosity journal: Take some time out on vacation to reflect on your giving journey. You can download our 10 Days of Biblical Generosity devotional to explore Scriptures about giving and then record your thoughts, prayers, and questions. Your journal will come in handy when you create your Giving Strategy.
  19. Cultivate joy with a thankfulness jar: Take time to savor the blessings that come your way each day by jotting them down on a scrap of paper and placing them in a special jar. Make sure the whole family participates. Then, open the jar on Labor Day to look back on the highlights of your generous summer.
For more ideas to infuse your summer with giving, connect with your local NCF team.

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