This is the time of year that many of us get besieged by requests from charities asking for money. The economic downturn has only added a degree of urgency to these pleas for help. Donations down, needs still increasing, etc., etc. It is easy to either cave in and impulsively give to the charity with the saddest story or say, "A pox on all of your houses!" and refuse to give at all. Recently I received a letter from a retired man who was terribly upset at the antics of some charities who had pressured him to give more at a time in his life when he was really struggling to make ends meet. In anger, he decided to cut us all off. This really bothered me since we are a ministry who does not do direct fund-raising (and never will, as long as I am CEO).
As so, I read with interest a recent article in the January edition of WORLD magazine written by Joel Beltz entitled "Trash it." In it he reveals not only a few things that fund-raisers would rather you not know, but also how to really help those charities whose work you believe it and even those whose you don't.
Here's a taste of what he wrote:
...I suggest it's time to take control again through an equally simple process. Just throw those appeals away—just as fast as they arrive. Or, if you want to be a bit more civil about it, prepare a form letter of your own to send to the organizations that have been mailing to you. Tell them you no longer want to play this game, and to save them money, you'd like your name removed from their list.
And then. Then get involved in some disciplined, thoughtful—and really generous—stewardship....
Click here to read the whole article. I hope it will help you to be a better steward of God's resources in the coming year.