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The Way of the Major Donor By Bill High

David Green—Giving It All Away—The Way of the Major Donor

By Bill High –

What’s in the mind of the major donor? And specifically, what’s in the mind of David Green, Founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby?

For many years now, I’ve spoken at CLA conferences. Typically, I’m asked to speak on the subject of major donors. Most people want to know how to approach major donors like David. They want to know what kind of criteria people like David look for in funding ministries.

Now they finally have some guidance. In Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously, David Green provides key insight into the thinking of a major donor, including their worries of whether their wealth will smother their children or even ruin them. The book provides a powerful perspective on how one family goes about their giving—deciding how much to give and where to give. But equally important, David tells of his great love for his family and of his desire to have a multi-generational impact on them. The lessons he’s learned along the way are invaluable.

David shares his story of starting Hobby Lobby with a $600 loan. From there, the business grew, but not without bumps, twists and turns. David recounts how he came from a family of pastors and for years considered himself the black sheep of the family. In a humorous account, David tells how every time he shared with his mother about his latest promotion or salary increase, she would respond, “Yes, David, but what have you done for the Lord lately?”

It wasn’t until after David made a gift in faith to fund a mission project that he began to glimpse some of his greater purpose: a businessman like him could play a role in funding the advance of the gospel.

In Giving It All Away, David also tells the story of his family’s recent United States Supreme Court battle. There, his family had a choice to make—risk losing the company or compromise the biblical values upon which their family stood.

On a larger scale, the book addresses the question every person must wrestle with: whose stuff is this? If it truly is God’s, then will I hold it with an open hand? And further, will I give as generously as God has blessed me?

This book will prove to be a great resource for ministry leaders and development officers, as well as for the donors they serve. Working with David on writing this book has been a great privilege, and we know the book will inspire others to give generously and radically and to receive the joy of Christ in return.


Bill High is the CEO of National Christian Foundation Heartland. He works with families, individual givers and financial advisors, sharing the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving.

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