The Whole Life Offering

We are all on a quest for significance whether it is through our work, giving, or service. When I first met Eric Foley I was impressed by his vision for and understanding of philanthropy. He spoke of the development process as transformational not transactional. His newist book, The Whole Life Offering: Christianity as Philanthropy, is a book for donors, volunteers, nonprofits, and philanthropists that breathes life into giving.

Eric brings us back to the original definition of Philanthropy which comes out of the ancient greek as “a gods love towards human beings.” He talks about Philanthropy as a way of living and a way of responding to a benevolent God.

“The focus of Philanthropy is on who one is and what one is becoming as one makes the donation.”

Too often I live my life in boxes. I can be one person at work, another online, and another at home and with my friends. This book makes a bold declaration that everything is connected and how we give should flow out of who we are. If you are a Christian, this book will change your perspective on how you live out your faith and give. If you are not a Christian, this book makes some remarkable claims about how faith can and should impact your giving.

The Whole Life Offering walks the reader through a number of principles that govern how we think of philanthropy. Each of these principles is explained from seven perspectives using these Works of Piety: Searching the Scriptures, Learning, Worshiping, Praying, Self-Denial, Serving, and Giving. This book has helped me to think deeper and act more intentionally. Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

“Sharing one’s bread is something more than giving to organizations that help the poor.”

“Every act of opening one’s home is more than a response to human need.”

“As one immerses oneself in an ever-widening circle of human need, one stops giving to fund-raisers and becomes one instead.”

On this quest for significance, the ideas found in The Whole Life Offering can help to bring your work, giving, and service all together. This book is a valuable tool in guiding us to be the kind of people that live and give well.

To learn more about Eric Foley and The Whole Life Offering: Christianity as Philanthropy visit his website or read the book.

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One Response to The Whole Life Offering

  1. Jack Laverty says:

    I’ll have to add this to my reading list – thanks for sharing. There is another book you may be interested in reading. A group of my colleagues are reading through “A Spirituality of Fundraising” by Henri Nouwen. I myself have not had a chance to read it so I can not comment on it first hand, but what I have heard thus far is convincing of it’s usefulness.

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