Donations are Up
Despite the flagging world economy, Global Mission donations have increased.Despite the flagging world economy, Global Mission donations have increased in 2009 —with a 13 percent increase for the first six months of 2009 compared to the first six months of 2008.
“This is encouraging news,” says Gary Krause, Director of the Office of Adventist Mission, which cares for the Global Mission initiative to start new congregations in new areas of the world. “It’s painful whenever we have to cut mission initiatives and reduce the number of Global Mission pioneers in the field. But this trend shows our supporters are digging deeper and making greater sacrifices so Global Mission can go forward.”
This growth may seem surprising in light of numerous reports of decline in philanthropic giving. But according to the 2009 Giving USA Foundation, this increase coincides with a financial trend. The survey found that while two-thirds of public charities experienced decreased donations in 2008, religious organizations reported an increase of 5.5 percent.
This climb came a little later for Global Mission which experienced a lean year in 2008. But to date, 2009 donations look promising. “This increase is coming not so much from new donors,” says Nimfa Sumagaysay, Donor Response Manager for Adventist Mission, “but from our regular donors who are giving even more.”
Again, Global Mission’s current experience mirrors findings from recent surveys, such as one conducted by Wilson Research Strategies for Dunham+Company. The survey suggests that faith-based organizations may continue to fare better than other non-profit entities because 60 percent of those who attend religious services more than once a week (about 27 million Americans) intend to give the same amount in 2009 while 14 percent say they intend to give more.
Along with donations received via mail, Global Mission is seeing an increase of donations online at their www.global-mission.org address. “We’re trying to make it as convenient as possible for people to make contributions,” says Nimfa.
“It’s very clear that God is blessing abundantly even in these difficult times,” says Homer Trecartin, Planning Director for Adventist Mission. ”There are so many projects that need funding in order to reach people with the gospel. The generosity of our donors makes the crucial difference between starting a project now or waiting until the economy improves. We all know time is of the essence.”
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Laurie Falvo, Communication Projects Manager, Office of Adventist Mission.