Today is Giving Tuesday, and you’ll likely be getting a lot of asks from a lot of places. But we’re simply here to say “thank you” for all of the giving you’ve already been doing this year.
We want to take today to remember and celebrate the good your gifts have done in 2019 and the blessings that God has brought through your giving. The grants you have made from your Giving Funds and Supporting Organizations have changed lives all over the world.
We thank the Lord for your generous hearts:
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
– Philippians 1:3-6
Follow along with us this week on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see the wonderful results and causes you’ve given to in big ways. Here are six of the top causes impacted by your generosity in 2019:
If you’ve driven through a town that’s had a “boom” time and is no longer experiencing economic prosperity, you’ve seen what it looks like to be in need of restoration, “redemptification,” as we recently heard it called. Falling incomes, changing industries, injustice, and corruption in certain sectors can all play their part in the deterioration of neighborhoods.
New laws about “Opportunity Zones” have made it lucrative to invest in rebuilding some of these areas, but most of you working on the cause of community development started long before it was lucrative, seeking the welfare of the cities where you have been planted.
Cities like Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Orlando, Dallas, San Diego, and many more around the world have watched their lives, their cities, and the economies surrounding them transformed because of your commitment to give. This year alone, NCF has seen almost $50 million go towards the restoration of communities across our country, and it’s all thanks to you.
Churches depend on the tithes of their givers. However, in any given church in America, the regular tithers make up only about 10-25 percent of the congregation. And recent research by the Barna Group shows that the younger the church member, the more likely Christians are to think that tithing is non-essential, even among those who are highly involved in their churches.
Interestingly, digging a little deeper into Barna’s research, you find that the more deeply grounded in Scripture someone’s belief system is, the more likely they are to have “giving goals,” rather than “keeping goals.”
As usual, NCF givers do not fall in line with the statistics and are unanimously “givers” instead of “keepers.” Your grants to 5,088 churches this year equal close to $190 million.
Your investment in local churches is crucial to sharing the gospel, supporting missions, feeding the hungry, and countless other services the Bible calls us, as the Body of Christ, to obediently commit ourselves to.
Humanitarian aid and disaster relief
2019 has seen 10 major natural disasters in the form of floods, tropical storms, cyclones, and more. This number doesn’t take into account the yet-to-be-calculated destruction brought on by California wildfires, which is estimated to cost in the tens of billions of dollars. But as disasters have increased, so has your redemptive support. Climbing up the chart in most-supported causes is your giving toward those for whom the cost is almost incalculable – those who have lost homes and livelihoods, those in need of rescue.
You have sent almost $39 million to help them, providing food for firefighters, temporary housing for those who’ve lost their homes, and sending chaplains and rescue workers to storm victims. In fact, some of you have gone into the disaster areas yourselves, giving your dollars, your possessions and your time to help people in the Bahamas.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by these natural disasters, and our gratitude for your support is beyond measure.
The Bible translators of the world have a big goal, to have at least one New Testament recording for every heart language in the world, or at least 99 percent of them by the year 2033! Why recording? Because 70 percent of the world’s people are oral language learners.
The 2033 goal would be impossible if it weren’t for the fact that, just a decade ago, the top 10 Bible translation organizations decided to come together, putting all their work into one digital library and dividing the translation work among them.
It is sometimes said that there are only two things in this world that will last eternally, God’s Word and God’s people. NCF givers have taken this to heart, not only funding the work of these translation agencies, but also volunteering and traveling the world with them to watch as people receive God’s Word in their heart languages. This year, you have granted more than $27.5 million to getting the eternal Word of God into the hands of people who need God’s eternal life!
According to The Department of Housing and Urban Development, right now our country’s homeless population is around 553,000 people – and those are just the people they were able to count. That’s half a million people without a roof over their head, a bed to sleep in, and a place to call “home.”
Last year, Baylor University conducted a study on the impact of faith-based homeless ministries in 11 major U.S. cities, focusing on the ones working towards a solution to the problem rather than just providing housing temporarily to those without (though at least 60 percent of beds available for the homeless were provided by these faith-based organizations). Reports show that these faith-based organizations are more innovative and effective at improving positive outcomes for homeless individuals and families than secular organizations.
We are impressed and thankful for NCF’s givers who are not turning a blind eye to the needs of others – who, together, have granted more than $35 million this year alone in response to the need for food, clothing, temporary, and permanent housing. You are improving life for those who not only need somewhere to live, but simply need someone to care.
Colleges and Universities
While the cost of a college education continues to skyrocket in our country, most Americans believe that state funding is increasing. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Over the last decade, states have collectively scaled back funding for college students by $9 billion. Federal funding is complicated and often not available to those who need it.
Meanwhile, NCF givers have proven they care about their alma maters and about funding post-secondary education in general. You have made 4,860 grants totaling almost $46 million to the cause of higher education, funding state and private colleges, Bible colleges and seminaries, law schools and medical colleges, as well as special programs to support students.
Praise God for what he’s blessed you with and for how you are stewarding it generously to make a difference in the lives of so many people.
From our NCF family to yours, #thanksforgiving all year long, not just on Giving Tuesday, and have a wonderful holiday season.