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CNLP 279: Brad Formsma on How to Get People to Become More Generous, and the Best and Worst Practices in Dealing with High Net Worth Individuals and High Capacity Givers

Brad Formsma ran a business for years, and then felt a calling to help other people become more generous. He founded I Like Giving which resulted in Brad connecting with hundreds of high net worth individuals, and his ability to offer the best and worst practices approaching high capacity givers.

Brad shares how to get over the intimidation many leaders feel when dealing with wealthy people and offers some wonderful insights on how everyone can live a more generous life, some of which have nothing to do with money.

Welcome to Episode 279 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Brad Formsma | I Like Giving |I Like Giving – book

Facebook | InstagramTwitter | YouTube

I Like Giving – Pastor’s Guide

Cultivate Generosity – A Course for pastors to help teach, model and celebrate generosity.

Episode Links

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CNLP 250: Gary Chapman on How the Five Love Languages Can Improve Employee Performance at Work, Make Your Marriage Better, and Faster a Better Relationship with Your Kids

Daniel Pink

Why Good Things Happen to Good People by Stephen Post

3 Insights from Brad

1. Generosity helps the giver just as much as it helps the receiver

One of the biggest reasons people hold off on giving is that they are afraid there won’t be enough at the end of the year. There is a serious temptation to be cheap and label it as “being a good steward.” Don’t do that. Be quick to give. Brad recommends that you live with an abundance mindset and not a scarcity mindset.

An abundance mindset trusts the biblical truths that say “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. A generous person will prosper.” This has also been backed up by Stephen Post. He had a study show that you live 10 years longer, and take half of the medicine if you are generous in three ways each week. Those with an abundance mindset really do prosper.

2. Generosity is so much bigger than just money

Often times people think the only major way one can be generous is with money. Brad encourages people to take part in 7 major ways to be generous. Money is only one of those forms of generosity. Here is the list:

  1. Generous with thoughts

  2. Generous with words

  3. Generous with money

  4. Generous with influence

  5. Generous with time

  6. Generous with attention

  7. Generous with stuff

When you begin to live out all 7 of these forms of generosity, your life will improve exponentially.

3. How should leaders talk to their top donors about giving? 

One key Carey has learned is that every time you open your mouth about money from the platform should not be when you need money. Similarly, the only time you talk to your top donors should not be when you are asking for money. Talk to them often about other things. The authentic relationship you are building should fuel their giving. Top donors don’t want to be seen as an ATM.

All the people that Brad knows who have wealth love to be asked to give as long as they know they are not the only ones being asked. They want to know that other people are as bought into the vision as they are. As a leader, this is a tension you have to manage. These people also want to see the results of their giving. Brad recommends clearly reporting to givers how their gift was used.

Quotes from Episode 279

In the long run I think cheap is more expensive. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

When volunteering goes up, giving goes up. @bradformsma Click To Tweet

Every time you open your mouth about money from the platform should not be when you need money. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Some faith based leaders talk abundance mentality, but they don't full circle it, and so they are not living it themselves. @bradformsma Click To Tweet

The devil and our society have created this stigma that the church just wants money. It's sad, because it's stealing the joy that you get from giving. @bradformsma Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 279

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Next Episode: Ron Edmondson

It’s easy to write off a stuck or plateaued church as irrelevant or bound to close, but that’s not what happened when Ron Edmondson became senior pastor of a church of 1000 in Lexington Kentucky. Under Ron’s leadership, Immanuel Baptist grew from 1000 attenders to over 3000 in six years and is firmly positioned for the future. Ron explains the keys to turning a church around, how to handle critics, and we talk about his new job as CEO of Leadership Network and how the leadership landscape is changing.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 280.


  1. fmwa on September 2, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you for such a nice share.

  2. Anthony DiMaio on July 23, 2019 at 11:22 am

    People volunteer when they are receiving something of value. When volunteers are not valued, the Kingdom culture is also depreciated. The relationship between volunteers and giving is all about how people are responding to ministry. Having been on all sides, on staff, volunteer and ministering, it all works best when the only agenda is the one that God sets.

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