How Does Your Company Giving Work?
Generosity is so important to us that we made it one of our company cornerstones. It can manifest itself through giving of our time, talents, treasure or influence. We understand that generosity is more than just giving money away, but giving money is where we began our journey of generosity.
Where did we start?
When we first started the company, we desired to honor God with our “first fruits”.
“Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.” – Exodus 23:19
Honestly, we didn’t exactly know what that looked like for a business, but we were committed. We wanted to find where God was working and join Him there. He was so gracious to allow us to begin our giving within our direct circle of influence. We had connected with several ministries, so we started financially supporting them. We didn’t allow ourselves to get paralyzed from the lack of knowledge or experience. We picked somewhere and started! God began to teach us so much along the way.
The Lord trained us to have a vision for our giving, which begins with a God-given burden to meet the need of someone else. Think back on your own experience and journey. What tugs on your heartstrings? What makes you weep when you see it in the world? We are created in His image and have each been given a piece of His heart, His burden for His beloved sheep. We believe that whatever breaks our heart, is part of our assignment while we walk on this earth. That is where God wants us to bring His Kingdom to earth, and be His hands and feet to put things back in order.
What does our giving structure look like?
God continues to mold and shape our giving with each passing year. Our goal is to play our part in the Kingdom the way HE would have us to, and not just do what seems or feels best to us. We’ve found that often means you’ll need to be flexible and be willing to get uncomfortable. But here is a glimpse of what our giving structure looks like.
We love to partner with non-profit organizations that are making a difference in the communities in which we build (currently in Lubbock, Midland, Odessa and soon in our new region, Amarillo, TX). We have a form on our website that organizations fill out, and those are reviewed by our ministry team members. They often do on-site visits and additional research to learn more about the non-profit. We then hold meetings about once a month to present those opportunities to the employees in each city, and they get to decide whether to meet the full need, part of the need, or possibly none of it. These gifts can be up to $10,000 each. We’ve found that involving our employees on the decision can be powerful. It gives them ownership and stewardship in the decisions, and also gives them a chance to experience the blessing of giving even if they aren’t yet ready to give out of their personal finances.
To learn more about our community grants, click here.
Marketing sponsorships are another way we can connect with our communities while also promoting the Betenbough Homes brand. A sponsorship can include events, fundraisers, program ads, field signs, youth sports teams, or bottled water donations.
To learn more about our Marketing Sponsorships, click here.
Over the years, God has allowed us to meet some amazing ministries, and He has led us to partner more deeply with a few of them. For us, these are primarily evangelical, relational ministries that love people and share Christ in an unconventional way. While we do usually sew larger financial gifts into these organizations, we call these ministry partnerships, because the relationship goes beyond financial grants. We often try to find ways our teams can support them with our time or talents, and also send our employees and their families on trips each year to visit some of these partners and see the impact they’re making first-hand.
To see some of our ministry partnerships, click here.
Employee Matching Grants
We welcome the opportunity to come alongside our employees in their personal giving by matching any funds they personally donate to non-profit organizations of their choice, dollar for dollar. This is an exciting opportunity that we added in 2009. From local evangelical ministry to large non-religious organizations like the American Heart Association; if they’re passionate enough about a cause to put their own dollars into it, we’d love to join them in that. This is a great way for employees to more directly decide where our giving goes. We’ve been blown away by how generous our employees are.
7 Things We’ve Learned About Giving
We’ve learned a lot along this journey of giving, and God has been patiently teaching us how to do help people without hurting them. Here are seven key principles we feel the Lord has taught us. We hope they bless you on yours!
1) God is the owner of everything
We are simply stewards of His resources. As such, we learn through the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 that the Lord desires an increase as a result of our stewardship.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” – Psalm 24:1
2) Generosity is an important key to the Kingdom
It is the ONE area in which the Lord gives us permission to test Him.
“’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,’ says the Lord Almighty.” – Malachi 3:10-12
3) Look at the “fruit” of the ministry
We prefer to meet people who had been served and blessed by this ministry applying for the grant. We asked them to share their testimony. We look for transformed lives.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” – Matthew 7:14-22
4) Surround yourself with wise counsel
In the beginning, we did not realize this could be done with people inside our company. We called upon people from our church to help us steward these resources. We now involve all of the employees in our stewardship decisions.
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” – Proverbs 11:14
5) Leave your personal agendas at the door
We couldn’t feel pressure to give out of relationships with the people involved in the ministry. We resisted the temptation to feel like we were anyone’s savior. The Lord is never desperate nor does He operate in urgency. When we felt these pressures, we knew the Lord was steering us away from these opportunities. God is our only provider. We had to resist the temptation of standing in that role with our ministry partners. We also had to continually avoid the danger of them viewing us as their provider rather than the Lord.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17
6) Seek agreement, unity, and peace with one another
God is not going to tell one person something and another something else. As we all seek Him, we will come into agreement and unity. We had to resist rushing into decisions. We learned to wait upon the Lord when we did not have peace. Once we waited for peace and unity, our stewardship greatly improved. The Lord either revealed something that we needed to know or provided for the need in another way. He may be calling someone else and us stepping in would interfere with His plan.
7) Give with a joyful heart and release
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
If everything belongs to God and we are simply stewards of what is His, when we give as He instructs us to give, we are transferring stewardship. We can give and release the stewardship to the other person. It is important for us to consider their stewardship in evaluating future partnership opportunities. However, once we believe we have sought the Lord and are giving as He has led us to give, we can release it and not feel like we have to micromanage or have control over those resources any longer.
Ask for a teachable heart, perseverance, love and mercy, wisdom and discernment. Ask to be able to hear His voice and instruction, to see things as He does, and for Him to show you His eyes and heart. Ask that He will help you steward His resources well. Pray against pride, greed, selfishness, cynicism, personal agendas, discouragement, and fear of making mistakes.
“God will give you a wise and discerning heart.” – 1 Kings 3:12