Alex Steffen suggests 3 new rules of major philanthropy in his article Our Philanthropic Footprint:
1. Practice holistic assessment.
2. Seek transformative impact.
3. Offer utter transparency
Holistic assessment must deal with environmental impact of our investment and here is where I see a storm coming for Christian ministries and Foundations that have not given thought to the larger interconnected processes of what they do or how they go about doing it.
If we took account of the environmental impact of, say, a typical Christian conference, for example, of flying leaders in for a 2 day conference in a hotel and flying them all back again, the footprint would be almost Sasquatchian. It would force us to explore ways to do things differently [see my last post on festivals], to do things more lightly, more locally, more slowly, more relationally, more thoughtfully and to look at the big picture of our philanthropy and/or ministry.
For the coming year, we are being vigorous in determining and measuring how much energy we will use as a family and as a ministry. I see us living much lighter in 2008. Perhaps even chopping our energy bill in half, despite a busier travel schedule. I will let you know what solutions we come up with. Watch this space.
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