There’s a curious passage in the beginning of the book of Acts. As the early Church began to live out the mission Jesus had given them, they sold their possessions and distributed the proceeds to whomever had need. They were together, they were generous, and they were glad (Acts 2:45-46). The result? The world around them witnessed it, and people were saved every day (v. 47).
You don’t see this a lot in the world today. It’s attractive because it’s rare. But our team at the National Christian Foundation has the privilege of seeing it every day. This community of givers – made up of individuals, families, and collaborative groups of all sizes – comes alongside charities that serve as the hands and feet of Christ. The cumulative work of all of these is astonishing.
People in communities around the U.S. and all over the world are stepping onto a path of flourishing because of the work that is supported through Giving Funds (donor-advised funds or DAFs). More than that, they are coming to believe in Christ – so many we don’t even try to keep count.
So, when we look at numbers and celebrate them, it’s about this – our mission to reach and restore every person with the love of Christ and how it is being fulfilled by this generous community who have DAFs at NCF. Every time it seems like the world will pull us down, discourage us, cause us to run out, to pull back from our giving in fear that we might not have enough, the NCF community overcomes.
The numbers themselves are a witness
Last year, the NCF community of givers contributed more than $2.5 billion into their Giving Funds and then granted out an astonishing $2.1 billion, which means 84 percent of the dollars that came in to NCF Giving Funds was mobilized for causes in the same year, with some ready to be mobilized in 2023.
And even more extraordinary than this is the fact that, though this year broke a record for NCF in terms of the rate of money gifted into funds versus money granted out, this rate is only a little higher than last year and the years before that. This is what NCF givers have always done, quietly, consistently pouring out generosity at a rate that should make front-page news, though it never has.
Those who use Giving Funds are able to give faster, to give more, to give more wisely and efficiently, to dream, to plan strategically, and to respond to needs and opportunities with a spontaneity as radical as their generosity.
A highly effective tool
To this community, a DAF is a tool for giving, for serving local neighborhoods and also the world – $23 million to help people with no homes, $40 million to help orphans and bring them into families, almost $75 million (and counting) to help victims of an ongoing war, $162 million to help meet people’s immediate and long-term needs after natural disasters.
Numbers are only one metric. NCF givers have accomplished their mission not just in dollars, but in impact. Communities are being transformed, countries have seen pervasive problems decline, and somewhere in the world, there is a witness to the impact of every generous gift made. The numbers are a witness; the impact is a witness. But people are also witnesses, and our hearts are among the many that have been changed.
And that is why we celebrate today.
Our community is always moving forward with its charitable purpose of mobilizing resources for biblical generosity. And that is what this is – biblical generosity, straight out of Acts 2. We praise the Lord who continues to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine through NCF givers, and we encourage you to excel all the more in this grace of giving.
*Because physical checks continue to arrive via U.S. mail and non-cash gift valuations take weeks to complete, our contributions number is subject to change, but it will likely only increase.