You want to give me money to do what I love to do? What?!?
By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries
Every year in January, we have to send giving statements to all who donated to Got Questions Ministries in the prior year. As the ministry has grown, and as the number of donors and donations has grown, this has become quite an undertaking. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. For us, it is an enjoyable task. It is encouraging to look back and see how many people believed enough in GotQuestions.org to make financial sacrifices on its behalf.
I remember the first donation we ever received. It came several months after we launched GotQuestions.org. An individual had submitted numerous questions to us. He responded with an email that essentially said, "I have had these questions for years and you guys have answered them all. Thank you so much! I want to make a donation. Are you guys tax deductible?"
It blew me away. I never imagined anyone would want to donate to GotQuestions.org. The idea that anyone would want to give money to what was, at that time, just a fun little hobby, had never even crossed my mind. We were not yet a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, but the questioner decided to donate anyway. When the second such offer arrived, we decided to complete the 501(c)(3) process. After some paperwork, a few phone calls with the IRS, and a few discussions with experts in non-profit law – we were done. Got Questions Ministries was an approved 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization.
Even with the tax advantages, it still surprises me how many people will donate to an organization with which they have had no "real world" contact. But, the comments are very consistent. Most people donate because we have answered their questions with a focus on what the Bible has to say. We offer a service that many people find extremely valuable and important. Therefore, they find it worthy of their financial support.
We do very little fundraising. We occasionally ask for support from our Question of the Week subscribers. We have an online donation page that is linked to on our sites, although not prominently. We do not want people to think we do this for the money. We do this as a ministry. We believe there is a tremendous need for an online Bible question and answer service. We do this because we believe it is the ministry God has designed for us, and designed us for. Yes, the ministry needs money to operate. But, it is not about the money. We do not charge for anything that we do, and never will.
We want people to donate because they believe in what we are doing and have been spiritually benefitted in some way. We want people to donate because they want to have an eternal impact with their finances, and believe GotQuestions.org to be a ministry through which God is having an eternal impact.
Recognizing the sacrifices our donors make on our behalf, and recognizing the responsibility God has given us to steward these funds wisely, we are committed to managing our finances in such a way that they have the greatest potential impact.
It has been said, to have a long and enjoyable career, find something you love to do, and then find someone who will pay you to do it. With GotQuestions.org, I truly have this privilege. I strive to make this a reality for our employees and volunteers as well.
Thank you, Lord, for the honor and responsibility of overseeing Got Questions Ministries. Thank you, donors, for the financial sacrifices you make that enable the ministry to continue!
"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38)
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6)
"Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine." (Proverbs 3:9-10)
See also: Donation Secrets
Image: Notes sent with donations.
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