Tuesday, April 24, 2007


When my 27 year-old daughter Anna, who teaches autistic children, told me she planned to start a non-profit organization to help women in Africa’s Sahara desert, I secretly rolled my eyes.

My baby start an organization of her own? (Never mind that I formed my first non-profit enterprise when I was just 24!)

Anyway, you can imagine my line of questioning: How will you juggle your time between that and your career? What about your personal safety? How will you fund it?

To my fatherly chagrin, Anna had all the answers and they worked. As a school teacher, she used her extended vacations for travel. She enlisted capable volunteers from church and from her circle of friends. And, she came up with an ingenious plan to fund her program that included garage sales. At one such sale, she made more in one day than I often raise after a whole weekend speaking at a church and holding a dinner with our donors!

That last point is the one I’ve been thinking about a lot. Fundraising is a difficult challenge for every non-profit Christian ministry. In all my years of Bible college and seminary, we didn’t have one class or seminar on fundraising. Yet, one of the most vital things I must do as head of Faith and Action is find the resources to get the job done.

I also know the fundraising side of what we do is frustrating to many of our supporters. No one has unlimited resources. (Well, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey come to mind—but they’re not interested in what we do!) Many of our supporters tell me they’d like to do more, but they just can’t. They already give to their churches, missionaries, the local crisis pregnancy center, the city mission, and so many other worthy charities. In fact, Christian people are the most generous of any population group in the world.

But, my daughter taught me something this past weekend at her garage sale: There are creative ways to do everything! It’s a bit humbling, but I learned something from Anna, and I plan to put it to work for Faith and Action.

We will soon launch: Sales for the Soul of America. Anna is helping me put together a little information kit for our supporters on how to do an effective garage sale to help Faith and Action continue the work of “Challenging Capitol Hill with Biblical Truth and Changing the Nation One Policymaker at a Time!”

This past week I learned something much more important than how old furniture, unused kitchen appliances, worn out rugs and ugly knick-knacks can advance the work of the Gospel; I learned that I still have things to learn from my kids.

Stand by for information on Sales for the Soul of America—and start collecting all those hideous knick-knacks!

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