Money is not our competitive advantage

SIA Coordinators in Kenya 2011

Local leaders are part of our kindness advantage too!

When you compare non-profits supporting development in Africa Spirit in Action is not at the top of the list for total amount of money given. Our grants can’t match the “small grants” at some large NGOs that range from $10,000-30,000.

That said, I think we have a lot of other points going for us, and I think that these points add up to more than just the amount we give away in grants each year.

“It’s very heartening to read your very kind & touching letter,” read the very unexpected opening to an email from Utkarsh Ghate in India. I was shocked not because the words themselves were stunning but because this came in reply to my email letting them know that SIA wouldn’t be able to fund their proposal.

This exchange brings to life our competitive advantage: kindness, respect, honoring people as individuals. 

At Spirit in Action, we have the time and the passion to connect with people, to write thoughtful responses to all emails, give feedback on proposals we can’t fund, to affirm their service to their community, and listen to the challenges they face.

Justus Aluka and a colleague in Kenya.

Justus Aluka and a colleague in Kenya.

“We appreciated and highly acknowledged the content of your letter. Thanks for your encouragement and prayers of hope sent.” Such warm greetings were expressed in a recent email from Justus Aluka at Shirly Centre in Eldoret, Kenya. Putting this gratitude into action, his community group generously sent a 2000Ksh (around $25) donation to SIA. This unsolicited involvement and “paying forward” is another expression of the ripples of SIA’s work to put spirit and love into action.

So while other organizations may give more thousands of dollars, we give thousand times more encouragement and respect, acknowledging that these individuals, like Justus and Utkarsh, are the ones doing the front line work and facing those in dire need.

And our partners reflect this encouragement back to us: “p.s.” Utkarsh wrote, “Your bottom line is very impressive, let God make it true!” I always end my emails with “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me” and I believe that honoring each person who reaches out to Spirit in Action is part of building that peace in the world.

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5 Responses to “Money is not our competitive advantage”

  1. Charly Morgan December 11, 2012 2:31 pm
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    I believe that too…. You touched a key principle that many of us believe… and yet few of us adhere to…. ‘At Spirit in Action, we have the time and the passion to connect with people, to write thoughtful responses to all emails, give feedback on proposals we can’t fund, to affirm their service to their community, and listen to the challenges they face.’ … in this particular season of my life I am being more intentional about living that out ….
    Blessings for all you do….

  2. Margaret Meyncke December 11, 2012 2:38 pm
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    Thank you for recognizing that love is in the details. You may not have the biggest budget to work with, but you are honoring the amount you have been given.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Dennis December 13, 2012 1:17 am
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    I’m remembering that encouragement was so much what our founder, Del Anderson, was about. I’m glad we have kept this focus.

  4. Tish Bayer December 13, 2012 9:42 am
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    Tanya, Thanks for sharing this very important message. Again we are changing the world one person at a time: Small moments, focused and caring. Our board meeting was full prayerful, inspired unamimous actions. I believe we were all touched by the love great that us that goes into this work.

  5. marsha johnson December 16, 2012 1:42 am
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    Genuine,thoughtful interaction cannot be measured by dollar signs. Heart to heart, soul to soul ~ has value that is immeasurable. I give thanks for Spirit in Action’s loving-kindness in our world.

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