Non Profits and Free Gifts

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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I remember being in college and watching a Public Television fundraiser event. For a donation of a certain amount, you would receive a thank you gift, in this case a set of Monty Python Halloween masks. Suddenly I wanted those masks. I wanted them badly. I grabbed the phone and impulsively pledged $20 to our local PBS station. Unfortunately for me, I had not noticed that you only got the masks for a pledge of $100 or more. I received a mug in the mail and an bill for $20. By the time the bill arrived, I was out of money, having spent it on a pizza. What followed was something I'd rather forget - an embarrassing series of calls and letters that ended up with a humbling phone call from me to the station wherein I confessed that I had no money. They were kind enough to allow me to keep the mug, which was good since someone had poured themselves a cup of coffee and then walked out of my apartment with it. To this day I feel rather sorry about that whole affair. If you happen to know people from the Waco Public Television station, please don't mention my name or that I live in San Antonio now. This event does bring up an interesting subject. Nonprofit organizations are always needing to raise money. And there are money raising techniques that work, or at least work unless you are dealing with broke college students. Handing out little thank you gifts is one of those tricks. But if you work for a Christian nonprofit organization, just how far will you stoop to raise money? Christian Nonprofit employee Carl Holmes is struggling with this right now. In fact, his organization does give out little gifts to donors, and he's having second thoughts about it. As you know, I work in a ministry. A very successful and God centered ministry that is being blessed more and more each day. I work in the contact center with people and encourage them to give to support the ministry and educate them on what our ministry is. Something is bothering me as of late though. It is not in just our ministry, it is rather endemic to the non profit evangelical world right now, and I am getting fed up with it. My employer over this last year has capitulated and started offering you something in return for your giving to the ministry. Recently we offered to give you a NIV Bible if you gave to a certain project we had going, before that it was getting a photo book if you shared our ministry with a friend and so on. What is wrong with this picture? ...Read More