Although the Stewardship Foundation has been in existence since 1990, (You can read about our history: www.stewardshipworks.org), Joe Finneran and I decided to shift the foundation’s focus because we were inspired by the Manhattan Declaration. This declaration is a statement of belief of course, but is also a challenge issued by Roman Catholic and Protestant pastors to embrace what we share; oppose what we know that violates our Judeo-Christian heritage; and put at God’s disposal what He has given to his people.
Too often people focus on what divides us and too often people embrace relativism and inaction. Consequently ministries are dying on the vine because they are not replenished with the necessary resources even though those resources are available through existing and future donations.
The SF is an ecumenical, Christian-based foundation that works with all faiths that promote respect for human life from conception to natural death, honor traditional families that encourage the full development of men, women, and children who are created in God’s image; and that safe guard religious freedom as a means to embrace our Creator God, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit as we understand them.
Jesus said “For whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:40) We believe the Manhattan Declaration enables us to see that there are more people for us and our cause than are against us. We at the Stewardship Foundation seek to be inclusive and unite those who are not against us. Our challenge is to build on that which we share and encourage those who share our mission to financially support those ministries in the trenches furthering the kingdom of God here on earth.
Joe Finneran and I have known each other for almost twenty years during which times we have discussed, prayed about, and challenged each other and our families to live the principles that have come to guide the Stewardship Foundation. Joe is a certified financial planner with almost thirty years of experience in planned giving practices. Joe has always been intrigued by the motivations behind one’s investing practices while simultaneously has been challenged by the directive of Jesus to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but give to God what is God’s”.
Too often that directive has been completely ignored, or muted enough that people have no clear sense of how much of what they have actually belongs to God. Therefore, Joe believes the Stewardship Foundation is responsible to ask those who have how much should they give back to God. Joe further understands that fear is one factor that hinders some from giving God his just due.
Consequently, Joe’s philosophy in managing his clients’ money is to enlighten them about their charge to give back to God, and to educate them on the most beneficial way they can manage their assets. Joe believes one’s first responsibility is to his or her family and, when Joe addresses this concern, he finds one more willing and able to give back to God that which rightly belongs to Him.
I have been working with church ministries and non-profits since 2000 and I am continually inspired by those who work in these areas. Those who work in charities and non-profits usually have an unparalleled passion and zeal for their ministries and the people they serve.
Most of these executive directors and staff works are motivated by service rather than financial rewards, but their services a dependent upon donations. Characteristically, however, their ability to serve and further their respective ministries is not matched in their fundraising efforts. Most non-profit directors and workers do not like to fund raise and they find their ministries struggling to meet their needs month to month.
The Stewardship Foundation wants to assist ministries and non-profits in their fundraising endeavors. A reality not often understood by non-profit fundraisers is that 80-90% of their potential donor’s assets are not in cash. Yet, most fundraising efforts by non-profits focus on cash assets only. As a result, non-profits limit themselves to only 10-20% of their donor’s potential giving pool.
The Stewardship Foundation enables non-profits to explore receiving from a greater donor resource. And donors appreciate knowing how they might utilize their assets better thus making more money available to their favorite non-profits.