***Updated for Giving Day 2019***
Thursday, September 19th, is North Texas Giving Day, and requests to give may already have bombarded your inbox. We get them too! (As you might imagine, Watermark's External Focus team is on a lot of mailing lists!)
We love how generous our body is with their time, talents, AND “treasures” – both at Watermark and with trusted organizations outside our walls. Many of our partners are involved in North Texas Giving Day, as is our very own Watermark Urgent Care clinic.
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 some great reminders about giving wisely.
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 "wins" for non-profits during NTGD are usually the opportunity to engage with brand new donors, and to get people (outside of Giving Day) to "match" the donations they receive on this day.
- While "bonus funds" are also added to donations, those funds actually add only a tiny percentage. In fact, they may not even cover the processing fees (nearly 5%) 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."
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 directly to the nonprofit. This saves on processing fees (which this year equal about 5%). Even though your donation won't "count" in the official Giving Day total, the charity will end up with more of your donation dollars.
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
- Giving financially helps ministries do great things. Wise leaders can do exciting things as they steward God’s resources. While donating goods to a ministry (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 how they spend, save money by buying in bulk, or “stretch” donated dollars in other ways.
- Giving happens best in the context of relationship. Whether you're giving to the “man on the corner” or a non-profit organization, it’s always healthiest when we give to people we’ve gotten to know. Fortunately, Watermark Community Church has been able to forge ongoing relationships with various ministries (and you can see our Partners who are participating in Giving Day below). By giving to our partners, you are giving in the context of relationship. (But it's even better when you forge that relationship yourself!)
- Giving should add to our "hands and feet" service, not replace it. We have to fight the notion that we have fully served 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 sacrifice and effort? (2 Corinthians 9:7)
- It's important to be wise when we give. Whether you're someone who likes to "dive into details" or not, it's important to be guided by wisdom. Give to organizations you 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!
- On the other hand, procrastinating doesn't help anyone! While building a relationship, using wisdom, and doing your "due diligence" are important, these actions also 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 (2 Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9).
Watermark Partners Participating in Giving Day
Here are the Ministry Partners participating in North Texas Giving Day 2019. Just use the search form at the NTGD site to find them. (How do we develop Partners? See this site. And you can click here for a list of our current partners.)
- Act (formerly Advocates for Community Transformation)
- Brother Bill's Helping Hand
- CK Family Services
- Cornerstone Crossroads Academy
- For the Nations Refugee Outreach
- The NET
- Prestonwood Pregnancy Center
- Prison Entrepreneurship Program
- Restored Hope
- Thrive Women's Clinic
- Watermark Health (supporting the Watermark Urgent Care clinic)
To learn more about North Texas Giving Day or to participate (as early as September 9th), click here.