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Who Wants to Play Monopoly?

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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“True grace puts an end to all spiritual monopoly.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Back in the mid-1980s, I was tasked with writing the fundraising letters for the Christian retirement community where I worked in addition to serving as the Director of Recreation and Volunteer Services. Because the CCRC (continuing care retirement community) didn’t evict anyone once their financial resources ran out, we sent out quarterly appeals to help cover the difference between the actual cost of the resident’s care and the amount that Medicaid reimbursed us.

Since I was new to direct mail fundraising, my boss hired a man to mentor me. At the time, Bill Sutter advised other ministries such as America’s Keswick, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, the Friends of Israel, and Philadelphia College of the Bible (later PBU and now Cairn University).

One of Bill’s trade secrets was to send a year-end appeal to our donors in early December, followed by a postcard the week between Christmas and New Year’s as a friendly reminder… and so, that’s what I did. Over the years, I have written dozens of such yearend letters for the Wiley Mission, The Saints Prison Ministry, and Risk Takers for Christ. And, as a donor myself, I receive scores of such yearend appeals from other nonprofit organizations.

Guess what I have noticed? Each year, the yearend letters arrive in my mailbox earlier and earlier. Appeals that used to be dated in December are now mailed in November… or even October. Why is that? My best guess is that charities are trying to beat each other to the punch.

My friend, the Bible clearly teaches that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), and that He promises to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). So, why do some ministries feel that they are in competition with others as if God only has a limited amount of money to distribute? Good question!

All I can tell you is that if a ministry is God-ordained, it will also be God-sustained. Or, as a dear friend of mine often reminds me, “Where God guides, He provides.” Having spent the past 41 years in the nonprofit sector, I can attest to the truth of that statement.

That is why Risk Takers for Christ only sends out three fundraising letters per year and a yearend appeal in December (not November or October). And we hardly ever send a reminder postcard – sorry about that Bill – because we believe that the Holy Spirit guides our giving.

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Matthew 6:31-32 (ESV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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