Missional Giving

Support WMU Through the WMU Foundation

By Joy Bolton, former Executive Director of Kentucky WMU.

When I saw the Baptist Press headline “WMU Foundation: $512,354 to support national WMU work,” I knew what I needed to write about next on my blog, DiscoverJoy.org. There has been stirring in my heart a message about supporting WMU. I believe it is vital for us to intentionally support National WMU.

I grew up in WMU and have been influenced by WMU’s determination to make disciples of Jesus who live on mission. As I became aware of how the work of WMU was funded, I knew that National WMU received no Cooperative Program funding or dollars from the missions offerings, but instead funded their work through the sales of missions literature and giving through the WMU Foundation. But there is more to the story.

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Past “Recall” Funding

A quick look at A Century to Celebrate by Catherine Allen reminded me that from the time WMU incorporated, they knew they would need funds for literature and communications. “They agreed on three principles: they would receive no missions money, but have the women send it directly to the mission boards for expenditure; the officers would receive no pay; and its expenses would be paid by the mission boards.”

“For more than 66 years the process of WMU funding was commonly known as ‘recalling.’ WMU officers would incur or estimate expenses, then ‘recall’ from the mission boards the amount they wished. Always this was done with reluctance and self-sacrifice, for the women wanted as much money as possible to go to the missions fields” said Allen.

The “recall” system was changed as WMU increasingly supported her work through literature sales and earnings from reserves.

WMU Foundation Established

In 1995, the WMU Foundation was established and has become a significant partner in channeling financial support to WMU. This is more important than ever before.

In an era when publishing has experienced radical change, WMU has struggled at times to sell enough literature to fully fund the national office. This is both a symptom of changing times in our churches and in the distribution of information. People today want to find information and resources at little to no cost on the internet. However, even to give away information on the web, there are production costs which must be funded.

When I have attended meetings with other WMU leaders, we have discussed these challenges. We understand that putting “free” information on the web has costs, and that WMU would love to provide some missions resources to churches on the web while continuing to support those who create and develop the content. This is where you and I come in and can help provide the support needed to produce these resources.

We need to step up and fund National WMU work. There are several ways to do this through the WMU Foundation and WMU:

Funding National WMU

  • Support WMU and WMU Ministries: Purchase WMU literature, WorldCrafts, and other products produced by WMU. Keep your subscriptions current. Don’t be among those who say, “I used to subscribe.” You may be too busy to read every word of Missions Mosaic, but subscribe anyway. This is our flagship magazine and your subscription matters. Give gifts from WorldCrafts that are not only beautiful but provide hope for a better life and share Jesus who gives us hope for eternity.

  • Giving Regularly: Give to support WMU ministries through the WMU Foundation. Give automatically through selecting recurring monthly or quarterly giving. Gifts for various ministries of WMU were among the $512,234 given recently. You can support an hour of ministry by giving $34 to the Vision Fund. You can support missions education for preschoolers by giving to the Dixon Endowment for Mission Friends. You can support leadership development through gifts to a number of endowments. See the Funds and Endowments List and pick one! You can also choose a Touch Tomorrow Today endowment which divides distributions between National WMU and WMU in your state.

  • Estate Gifts: Plan a gift to WMU from your estate. All of us will die. We must decide now, however, where our assets will go if we want to have a say in the distribution. Much of the $512,234 came from earnings on endowments. You may want to establish an endowment with WMU, but you can also specify a dollar amount or percentage to go to an existing endowment. Your wishes must be in writing through a will. Do not assume that your family knows you would want this. Put it in writing. The WMU Foundation can assist you with Planned Giving.

  • Memorial Gifts: Memorial gifts are a great way to honor people who love WMU and missions. Give to a WMU endowment at their passing. Or purchase a brick for the Walk of Faith. 100% of your Walk of Faith gift goes to operational needs of WMU. And let your family know where you would like memorial gifts sent when you die. Again, don’t assume they know. Put it in writing and let them know your wishes. Gifts to support WMU are a great way to honor and be honored.

The National WMU Office is important to all of us. It guides our work together and is the hub for WMU work across the country. WMU has a mandate to fulfill and keeping our home office strong and able to provide the resources we need is vital.

Join me today in supporting WMU!

This article first appeared on DiscoverJoy.org.

4 Ways to Make a Difference Through Year-End Giving

As the year comes to a close, take the opportunity to use your giving to make a difference. Your year-end gift is important, and we are grateful you choose to support the work of WMU through the WMU Foundation.

Here’s how to make your year-end gift count:

  • Make a one-time gift to the WMU Foundation. Your gift of any amount supports the mission and ministry of WMU. Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

  • Become a monthly giver. It’s never been easier to become our monthly missions partner. When you give to the WMU Foundation online, select “I would like this to be an automatic monthly or quarterly gift.” Your regular support will help make our work possible.

  • Consider a Charitable Gift Annuity. A Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) is a minimum $10,000 gift. The WMU Foundation agrees to pay you a specified amount (based on your age) for the rest of your life.

  • Add the WMU Foundation to your estate plan. Make sure the WMU Foundation is included in your will. Consider other planned gifts, like making the WMU Foundation a co-beneficiary of your life insurance policy or your retirement plan. Contact us for a free planned giving guide.

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When you give, you are part of the tradition that began with a few women saying yes to God’s call and inviting others to do the same. WMU officially began in 1888 at a meeting in Richmond, Virginia. Women joined together to make a difference for Baptist missions, but the real beginning of WMU happened much earlier.

In the early 1800s, Polly Webb invited women to her home to pray for missions. Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend sold gingerbread at the market to raise money for missions work. We may never know the names of countless others who made the choice to respond to the Great Commission in the unique way God had called them.

That is how WMU was built. One woman at a time, believing God called her to Great Commission work. One woman at a time, saying yes, then inviting others to pray, give, and go.

Since 1888, WMU’s message to believers has been consistent. If you choose to follow Christ, the Great Commission belongs to you. It is yours to act upon. God has called you and gifted you to respond.

The WMU Foundation granted over $1.6 million this year to support Baptist missions. God has called us to support Great Commission work, and we cannot do that without your support. Your gift makes it possible to continue a legacy of faith, and we are grateful for your support.

Generational Discipleship Brings Global Investment

Are you involved in making disciples and sharing Christ with others through missions education? People like Cindy Walker cannot imagine their lives without it. She grew up with WMU as part of her life—she started out as a Sunbeam, then became a GA, taught GAs, and now teaches Acteens, WMU’s missions education curriculum for youth girls.

Learning and teaching about missions for years gave Cindy a passion to reach the lost all over the world. Her eyes were opened to the fact that the world was far more than her community, and she wanted the world to know about Jesus.

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In the last ten years, Cindy has gone on eighteen mission trips to Nicaragua, often taking Acteens with her. She has been able to teach God’s love to these girls and help them put that love into action in their hometowns and across the world.

Cindy’s teams have been able to work with the Emmanuel Home of Protection in Nicaragua, which serves victims of sexual abuse and trafficking. Unfortunately, in October 2017, Tropical Storm Nate caused almost insurmountable damage to the safe house.

“Poverty is rampant. Hopelessness is evident everywhere you look,” Cindy explained. But she also noted she had heard story after story of people in the area who had come to know Christ because someone from the safe house reached out to them and met their physical needs then shared the gospel with them. The home “is a beacon of hope and light in a dark area of our hemisphere,” she said.

At Emmanuel Home of Protection, missionaries provide girls from birth to age 18 with a formal education and training in life and job skills. The staff offers psychological, emotional, and spiritual care to the girls introducing them to the unconditional love of Jesus. “That’s why it’s vital to keep the ministry up and running at full speed,” Cindy said. “Anything we can do to help these missionaries minister in this community is wonderful.”

The WMU Foundation sent a $2,500 HEART Fund grant to help them rebuild and recover as quickly as possible. The grant will help replace roofs, windows, walls, and doors at the safe house. Cindy’s involvement with WMU through the years helped her be a voice for a small organization in Nicaragua that might have otherwise been overlooked. Because someone chose to teach her the importance of making disciples and helping others through missions education and her own dedication to reaching the lost in Nicaragua, the lives of girls have been changed both physically and spiritually.

Several of Cindy’s former GAs are now missionaries and others have girls who Cindy teaches now. “I’ve had the opportunity to serve another generation. The mothers who grew up in these missions programs see how missions education influenced them, and they want to emphasize that to their children. It’s been such a blessing.”

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Cindy was discipled through missions education as a young child and discipled countless others as well.  Because she was invested in and invested in others, lives have been changed around the world. How has Christ changed your life through missions education? How are you making disciples because of the investment someone else poured into your life?

Giving Tuesday: Isaiah 58:10

WHY GIVE TO ISAIAH 58:10?

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness...
— Isaiah 58:10

To over 60 WorldCrafts artisan groups around the world, the fair living wage and the hope of everlasting life they receive through the WorldCrafts ministry is a light rising in the darkness.

The Isaiah 58:10 Campaign is all about pouring ourselves out for the hungry. When you give, you provide hope for WorldCrafts artisans who thought all hope was lost. You provide jobs for people all over the world. You’re giving food, clothing, and shelter to their families.

WorldCrafts is committed, holistic, and fair trade. 

The Isaiah 58:10 Campaign supports WorldCrafts by providing the funding to pay artisans a sustainable living wage and bring their products into the United States for sale. Your gift allows WorldCrafts to provide ongoing orders to global partners, many who are completely dependent on these orders for their livelihood.

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#GIVINGTUESDAY

When you give, you are making a difference in the lives of artisan groups in the United States and beyond. And to make that even better: if you give starting Friday, November 24, you will also be entered to win products made by some of those very artisans you’ll be helping.

Our goal for Giving Tuesday is to raise $58,100 for the Isaiah 58:10 Campaign. It’s a huge goal, and we can’t reach it without your help.

Every gift given makes a difference, and anyone who gives a minimum of $25 will be entered to win some beautiful WorldCrafts products!

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We happen to think $58.10 would make a great gift. Or maybe $581? Obviously we like this theme, but any amount you can give makes a difference.

Prizes will be awarded on the WMU Foundation social media pages (@wmufoundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) on Giving Tuesday, November 28, every hour from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. CST. A grand prize bundle will be awarded at 4 p.m. CST, so don’t miss out!

Winners will be announced on social media and will receive an email notification.