What if I don’t Have Much Money to Give?
When we think about alumni support of an institution, we often envision the graduate who makes it big in the business world, leads a Fortune 500 company, and then gives millions of dollars back to his or her alma mater. Such gifts get write-ups in the papers and are shouted from the rooftops of the schools benefiting from them. Buildings and chairs are named for the donors, who are paraded on campus and in alumni magazines as role models of philanthropy.
But what of those graduates who don’t have the “big bucks” to give? What about those who go into professions and ministries that don’t generate huge paychecks and stock options? What about YOU? You may well say, “What difference does it make if I give to Asbury Seminary? I can give very little – so why give at all?”
Alumni giving is vital to Asbury Seminary for several reasons. For one thing, you are not only givers – you are influencers. When you support the Seminary, you are saying to persons in your ministry – be it in a church or some other aspect of service – that you are grateful for your theological preparation and you want others to have the same opportunity you did. Others around you – parents, parishioners, ministry partners, friends – will also be encouraged to give, and your gifts will be multiplied in that way.
And here’s a fact you may not be aware of: When foundations and major donors consider grants and gifts to Asbury Seminary, alumni participation rates are one of the factors they weigh. This is in terms of the number of alumni that give, not in dollars given. Donors want to give to successful institutions that others are also supporting. In this way, your giving is multiplied many times over through that of other donors who may be able to give more. Again, it not the size of your gift that matters as much as the fact that you do give to Asbury Seminary.
Many of our alumni give small amounts monthly. Getting into the habit of giving monthly provides the Seminary with a reliable source of funds, and these gifts do add up over time. Asbury Seminary has one of the highest rates of alumni giving among evangelical seminaries. Your participation in our Hundredfold Comprehensive Campaign has shown that to be true. You have proven your support for the Seminary as you helped fund the Estes Chapel restoration project and the new Seminary hymnals, and now you have the opportunity to fund the restoration of Fletcher Chapel.
It doesn’t matter what aspect of support you give – what matters is that you give to continue the mission of Asbury Seminary. But, whenever you are ready to give financially to show your support, it doesn’t matter how much or how little. The small gifts also show that our Asbury Theological Seminary Family believes in the work we are doing, and that will encourage others to give as well. Little really IS much when God is in it!