Transformational Giving: the HELP model

how we give

The HELP giving model that we have developed, grew out of witnessing many who want to make a difference, but only apply their hearts, not their heads, to their giving, The result is that their giving often has little impact, and sometimes even does more harm than good.

It is important for us to realize that for our giving to have a powerful positive impact we must engage not only our hearts, but our minds as well- just because it feels good, doesn’t mean that it is good!

The HELP giving model can challenge each one of us in HOW we give.

Paradigm shift 1: HONOUR The move from pity & guilt giving to Honour/ Eye2eye giving

What is poverty? If you ask a wealthy person, they will say material lack. However, a poor person will also speak of psychological & social poverty- feeling inferior & having no say.
The picture of powerful people offering selfless support to the powerless with no thought of repayment, no ulterior motive, no strings attached – we assume this is so right, but...
Who is the hero? Is it not the giver? Who is pitied? Is it not the receiver?
When our giving damages the identity of another, when they feel pitied & in need of rescue, then have we not increased their poverty by our noble giving actions?

As important as WHAT we give, is HOW we give.

If you want to give in life changing ways and restore the dignity of the one who feels less than, give with honour, not pity. We call this eye2eye giving, where both giver and receiver are on the same level and the giving is 2-way, as articulated in a verse in the Bhambayi vision:
It is a dream of honour- where no one is seen as less than. Where there is no giver and receiver, but all give and receive and are blessed.

Paradigm Shift 2: EMPOWER The move from weakness to Strengths based giving

The world focuses on people's strengths, yet how do we speak of communities or individuals in need-is it not rather by their weaknesses? Their lack & their need? Yes, this motivates people to give, but does this encourage changed lives? Every person has God-given gifts and passions to develop and grow. Focusing on strengths and unlocking these gifts is an important part of inspiring others and helping them escape the poverty trap.

Paradigm shift 3: LONG-TERM The move from relief to long-term transformation

The majority of giving is on seemingly urgent short-term needs: food for the hungry, blankets & clothes for the poor. While there may be a place for this, this short-term relief seldom brings long-term transformation.
Handouts can lead to dependency and growing inferiority. There are many examples where handouts can displace local entrepreneurs who cannot compete with free handouts. It can also mean goods are not looked after as they cost nothing and are in abundant supply. Handouts should be avoided. When deemed a necessity, they should be part of a bigger process helping people escape the poverty trap, rather than keeping them comfortable in it!

Just because it feels good, doesn’t mean it is good!

To ensure our giving is transforming lives we can’t be measuring our motives- the feel-good factor, or even our actions- how many we have fed or clothed- but rather we need to be measuring the long-term impact of our giving- how lives have been transformed.

Paradigm Shift 4: PEOPLE The move from Problems to people

How easy it is to jump to fixing what is broken, especially when we have the resources, skills and experience, but the journey is usually more important than the destination- the process of solving & owning the problem is usually of greater value than fixing the problem itself.

Transformational giving means focusing on the people- developing a relationship with them and empowering them- rather than the problem.