More Sign On to The Giving Pledge

Leadership // December 9, 2010

This week it was announced that more billionaires have signed on to take the Giving Pledge, a challenge by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates to give away at least 50% of one’s wealth. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is the latest to join in the effort. Estimated to have earned $6.9 Billion from the social media website’s creation, Zuckerberg is one of the youngest to take the pledge at age 26.

“People wait until late in their career to give back,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “But why wait, when there is so much to be done? With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts.”

Zuckerberg’s business partner Dustin Moskovitz, also took the pledge, along with 15 other newly committed philanthropists. They include Carl Icahn, Michael Milken and Steve Case. You can read the complete list of donors and their letters here.

Mark Zuckerberg made news earlier this year when he gifted $100 million to the schools of Newark, NJ, setting a record for youthful philanthropy.

Two takeaways for those of us in ministry –

1.  Don’t assume. Larger gifts will be always be found in your older constituency. Major gifts are increasingly coming from a younger demographic.

2. Never stop asking! This effort has been in progress for months now, and those spearheading the effort continue to hold meetings, events and individual conversations.

And the results continue to speak for themselves.

If you have a passion for your ministry (and you do, or you shouldn’t be in it), continually look for opportunities to connect with those who can help you make a difference.

Now is not the time to go silent.

About Rusty Lewis

As a church leader, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having the funding to do what God’s calling you to do. But when you think about trying to address that problem, you feel overwhelmed, you dread the potential pushback from your congregation, and you’re not sure where to turn for help. Over the last 18 years, I’ve helped more than 120 churches close the gap between their current financial reality and what they need to move forward in ministry.

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