Making your end of year gift

Date: December 21, 2022

On the whole, discretion around one’s giving habits is appropriate. Giving is done to help an institution or person thrive; it is not done to generate the perception with others that one is a “good person” deserving of praise. While this is all true, it is worth sharing our different practices with each other. We can influence each other in helpful and good ways: if you know, for example, that I try to walk the dog twice a day as my core exercise, then perhaps others will decide to try and find a way to have twice daily exercise.

Everyone gets countless letters asking for gifts. So, Lesley and I collect those causes that are closest to our hearts, and just before Christmas (last Saturday to be precise), we work through the pile of letters and determine how much to give to this or that organization. Sometimes our gift is modest; sometimes it is more significant. One joy of being involved in many organizations, I am deeply aware of how small gifts rapidly mount up – over the years and along with other small gifts made by others. Every gift matters.

For the VTS Annual Fund (and the Bicentennial Pledge), Lesley and I use payroll deduction. As VTS steps into the affiliation, we decided to make a gift to General Theological Seminary. Foundations and major donors are especially interested in the giving percentages from faculty, staff, and students in schools. After all, if those closest to an organization give, then this is a clear indicator of institutional health. So, I invite you all to be intentional in your giving and yes, do please consider making a gift to VTS and to our affiliated Seminary, the GTS.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and President of General Theological Seminary

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