Not by Bread Alone: Relationships and Feeling Good by Doing Good

This article was first published in the Spring 2014 issue of The Midwest Augustinian quarterly newsletter:

Written by Michael Gerrity, Chief Advancement Officer

You will be enriched in every way for your generosity.
— 2 Cor. 9:11

A few years ago an op-ed article in a major national newspaper asked, “Does your giving make you feel good?” It got quite a spirited response which to me was a good sign that people were reading and thinking about their giving. I would answer that your giving should make you feel good, not in some smug or prideful way, but because you know in your heart that you did “good.” We all know that real sacrifice requires some pain. That is the very essence of the word “sacrifice.” Anyone who has worked on a marriage, giving birth, raising children, earning a degree, learning a new skill, or struggling with old age or infirmity, knows the meaning of the “real sacrifice.” And like any real meaningful sacrifice, your donating to the Augustinians should make you feel good inside because you have done something worthwhile and with a long-lasting impact. Hopefully, it also helps that we are good stewards and that we invite support for specific purposes (men in formation studies, retired/infirm Augustinians, and missions in Peru).

This simple picture of this little girl and her bread conveys so much and so simply. Like you, she knows that bread has its place, but we will not be our very best on bread alone. Asking for charitable gifts and the giving of gifts is at heart not about the bread (the money) but rather about relationships of substance: our relationship with God, with each other, with Augustinians, and of course with money.  Money is only a means by which we further relationships and something that is good and meaningful. And we desire above all to create with you a meaningful and long-lasting relationship and one that leaves you feeling good, and in the process brings all of us closer together and closer to God. The fact is that the best and greatest of charitable gifts are almost always based on a “relationship” of trust, respect, shared values and a common vision between the donor and the recipient.

The Augustinians have a vision and a hope for the future, one that is bright and latent with great spiritual treasures and benefits – the same treasures and benefits that came to those “sacrificing” souls who went before us in the Augustinian name and tradition. We fervently desire that you be part of that vision and future. Today the Midwest Augustinians possess a promising future of service. This promising future can be attributed to the Holy Spirit and the firm foundation of deep and long-lasting relationships created word by word, person by person, and encounter by encounter, over the decades and centuries past. It is our goal that your donating to the Augustinians will make you richer in ways that really matter to God and to you. Please think of that the next time we ask. Our asking is a message, an invitation to a deeper relationship, and above all done in the service of God and St. Augustine.

Michael is a veteran fundraiser of Catholic causes for over 28 years.  He began working with the Augustinians in 2011.  Michael is the Campaign Director for the Augustinians' Continuing Our Journey of Faith capital campaign.  You can also click here to email Michael.  You can also call Michael at 773-595-4035.