Giving Day and Giving Wisely

***Updated for Giving Day 2016***

Thursday, September 22nd, is North Texas Giving Day, and you may already have gotten bombarded with requests to give like we have. (As you might imagine, the External Focus team is on a lot of mailing lists!)

We love how generous our body is with their time, talents AND “treasures” – both here at Watermark and with numerous trusted organizations outside our walls. But we always want to serve and give in the healthiest of ways. So here's what you nee to know about Giving Day - as well as principles for other kinds of financial support.

North Texas Giving Day

First, here are some helpful things to know about North Texas Giving Day, so you can give (and tell others) wisely:

  • Basically, Giving Day uses collective momentum to get people excited about giving to local non-profits.
  • The biggest "win" for non-profits during NTGD is usually the opportunity to engage with brand new donors.
  • While the big draw of the day is the "bonus funds" added to donations, it's helpful to realize that those funds actually add only a tiny percentage. In fact, they may not even cover the (surprisingly high) credit card fees subtracted from donations.
  • For a small handful of organizations, monetary "prizes" can be won for achievements like "most new donors" and "largest number of donors." But a much better source of additional funds comes when particular organizations have outside "matching" grants. This is much more helpful than the small "bonus funds" pool.

So here's what it boils down to: We do encourage people to consider giving on Giving Day - and to recruit others to join the momentum! But in many cases it would be just as good (or better!) to pay in cash, check, or via your bank account to avoid credit card fees. Even though that won't "count" in the official Giving Day total, the charity will end up with more of your donation.

North Texas Giving Day is a good opportunity to give generously and recruit others to give generously. But it's always good to know the facts - and to give in ways that help the MOST.

Reminders about Giving

  1. Giving happens best in the context of relationship. Whether you're giving to the “man on the corner” to a non-profit organization, it’s always healthiest when we can give to people we’ve gotten to know. Fortunately, Watermark Church has been able to forge ongoing relationships with various ministries (and you can see our Partners who are participating in Giving Day below). But if you have opportunity, we'd encourage you to personally build your relationship with ministries you choose to support.
  2. Giving should add to our personal involvement in service, not replace it. We have to fight the notion that we can “check the box” on serving others simply by writing a check. Instead, we should check our hearts before giving: Is our giving cheerful and others-centered, or are we primarily giving “just because we should” while avoiding effort? (II Cor. 9:7)
  3. Giving financially helps ministries do great things. When a ministry’s leaders are wise, then they’re able to do exciting things as they steward God’s resources. While donating goods (like canned food or used clothes) is beneficial, financial donations are usually the most cost-effective ways to help a ministry. Financial gifts let ministries prioritize their purchases - plus they can often buy in bulk or “stretch” donated dollars in other ways.
  4. It's important to be wise when we give. Whether you're particularly analytical or not, it's important that we give to organizations or people we have reason to trust. Investigate what they're doing, pay attention to any "fine print" about how the ministry is run, and stay engaged with the ministry over time. You and the ministry will be better for it!
  5. Procrastinating doesn't help anyone! While relationship, wisdom, and "due diligence" are important when we're donating, they also can make it easier to procrastinate. (This is where I personally struggle for sure!) It's important that we act on God's conviction - whenever He gives it - and not be slack about giving.

(Scripture speaks a LOT about Giving. But one great place to read about this kind of giving is in II Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9.)

Watermark Partners Participating

Here are the Ministry Partners participating in North Texas Giving Day 2016. Just use the search form at the NTGD site to find them. (How do we develop Partners? Click here for more.)

  • Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT)
  • Brother Bill's Helping Hand
  • Buckner Children and Family Services
  • Cornerstone Crossroads Academy
  • Exodus Ministries, Inc.
  • Interfaith Family Services
  • Mercy Street
  • New Friends New Life [partnered through our Reclaimed ministry]
  • OurCalling, Inc.
  • QuestCare Foundation / QuestCare Clinic
  • Readers 2 Leaders
  • 2ndSaturday CDC
  • Thrive Women's Clinic

To learn more about North Texas Giving Day or to participate on Thursday, Sept. 22nd, from 6am to midnight, click here.

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