Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Three-Way Match for Giving Tuesday

We got an email a few weeks back about a matching funds program that is going to be running on December 3rd through the Advance Special Fund, the giving arm of the United Methodist Church. The email stated that all funds that are given on-line on December 3rd will be matched dollar for dollar. That is pretty cool. So cool it was almost hard to believe at first. So I looked into it.

#GivingTuesday is a movement that started in 2012 as a response to the incredible coverage and hype that is received by Black Friday. The thought was that if retailers, who only goal is to make a profit and finish off the year in the black, could benefit from putting so much hype into one day, why can’t the non-profit world do the same thing. So now, to balance out and help us recover (refocus) from Black Friday and the stampedes, and Cyber Monday and credit card debt, there is Giving Tuesday and an actual focus on helping others. For you the “others” can be the churches and ministries of the Lake Zone in Tanzania.

Maybe I should not too surprised at an offer like this. We are used to funding programs and ministries through a two-way matching gifts system. The churches here give time, labor, material, and funds that are then added to by contributing groups from outside of Tanzania. These matching funds become enough to continue the ministries taking place here in Tanzania.

Our goal has never been to be fully funded through outside donations. We actually would prefer to be fully funded from the churches here in Tanzania. Until we grow some more though we have found that taking goals that the churches here create themselves and own and just moving them a little bit closer is a pretty good strategy. There is nothing more important in our work than ownership of that work by the churches.

This last week it was so great to hear a church talk about and plan on how they can build “their” church. It is not my (the missionary’s) church, but theirs. Locally owned and operated so to speak. This wasn’t just talk either. This very week labor and materials are being donated that will make up almost half of the cost of the current phase of construction. It is hard work and it pulls people away from their gardens and work and literally putting food on the table, but it is their work.

Now, on December 3rd, we have a chance not for a two-way match, but a three-way match. Supporters can make donations on-line that will then be matched dollar for dollar by Global Ministries. Don’t believe me or want more details check it out here. Those matched funds will then make their way to Tanzania where they will be matched a third time by the contributions and work of the local churches and ministry programs. 

Our goal is $50,000 in donated funds which will then turn into $100,000 which will then turn into who knows how much as it is matched by churches here. This amount would allow us to focus on ministry, and the sharing of successes and celebrations for the 2014 year instead of always looking for our next fundraiser.

We already have $2500 pledged. We look forward to more. Check out the ministries that would be receiving this report on the donations page of this site. Email ericsoard@umcmission.org or esoard@umcmission.org with any questions, encouragement, or pledges.

And thank you in advance for you support.

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