WHY We Fund Mission: Introducing the Opportunity Grant

WHY We Fund Mission: Introducing the Opportunity Grant

Colonial Church has a rich history of funding mission work, people and projects all around the world. Yes, we do fund, but it’s also important to engage WHY we fund. That is, why do we make the decision to fund one mission over another and how do we go about that funding?

Each and every week Colonial gets more than a dozen requests from outsides agencies who are seeking funding, which adds up to hundreds of requests per year. Each of these individuals, agencies and organizations who are requesting funding are doing important work!  It’s understandable and compassionate to take a posture that desires to help every single one of them, even as a deep rational voice inside of us whispers to us that this is impossible and impractical, given the volume and scope of the funding requests.

In order to try and accommodate everyone a church mission budget can quickly be bled dry through giving a couple hundred here, a few hundred there. The giving strategy can quickly slip into nickel and dime efforts.  Worse, our giving – spread so thin – lacks true impact.

When it comes to missions, it pays to have a plan.

Beginning fiscal year 2014-15 – as approved by the Council – we will pilot a budget line item labeled as an “Opportunity Grant.” Once per year we will select one mission project and grant them a gift of 10,000 minimum.

To be clear, this in no way effects our commitments to current partners. Their funding remains unchanged and our commitment to them has no bearing on the Opportunity Grant. The Opportunity Grant represents a one-time, once-per-year, above-and-beyond gift toward mission.

This does several things:

  1. It allows us to continue the practice of generosity by giving above and beyond our partner expectations.
  2. It allows us to maintain a sense of flexibility in our mission budget, as once per year we have the opportunity to bless a project outside our partner expectations.
  3. It allows us to remain equitable by requiring applications, then framing the decision through our mission matrix.
  4. It allows us to make an impact through a larger gift.
  5. By setting the minimum at 10K, it asks agencies to step up their game and submit a proposal that can truly impact their capacity. (This is not to help organizations “make budget.”)
  6. This allows us to build capacity of established ministries. (No upstarts. That’s the mission of Innové.)

Very little of our mission budget is discretionary, and rightly so, as the significant majority of it it designated toward our long-standing partners and commitments. This will not change.

What will change is allowing the small slice that is discretionary to be sliced even smaller still by trying to accommodate too many with too little, thereby minimizing our overall impact.

The heart and desire that compels us to mission also compels us to truly see to make an impact through long-term sustainable change. Our hope is that the Opportunity Grant will also us to address this desire once per year, with a focused gift to a strategic agency or cause, granting them the type of capital that can allow them to truly innovate or scale.

This is an opportunity for Colonial Church to make a missional impact. One should never pass up an opportunity like that.

[Individuals, Agencies or Organizations: Click here to apply for the Opportunity Grant.]

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