WMU Foundation

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.

SHE leads (10).png

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.

SHE leads (1).jpg

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.

What's Your Why?

Why are you involved in WMU? What first drew you in? I can’t tell you my why without introducing you to a couple of my friends.

The first time I met my friend Judith, she gave me a big hug. I felt welcomed and accepted by her before I really even knew her. Judith lets me call her Naana, the Navajo word for grandmother. She was a missionary in New Mexico for years, and she tells the best stories.

Judith is a bit “spirited”. She’s not exactly what I would call a rule follower. The truth is, she treats every single person she meets as if the most important thing about them is that they are created and loved by God. Everything else is secondary.  If she breaks a few rules in the process, I don’t think she cares.

Judith is the one most likely to show love to the outcast. If you don’t have your life together, Judith is the one who will sit beside you. When you are unlovable and struggling, Judith doesn’t just point you to Jesus. She will walk with you until you get to Him.

My friend Courtney has a lot in common with Judith. She’s kind, funny, loving, and she doesn’t care about appearances. Like Judith, she will break the rules if that’s what it takes to love her neighbor.

Courtney is drawn to the people who are most likely to be forgotten in society. She goes out of her way to love the poor, the refugee, the trafficking victim, the abused. If you sit and talk with her, she will always steer the conversation in the direction of Christ’s love.

These two women epitomize WMU to me. They are both, first and foremost, disciples of Jesus. They take the Great Commission personally and seriously. They fulfill it in different ways, but they both live their lives in a way that plainly and boldly points directly to Jesus.

Lottie Cookie Project (8).png

My friends are like the women in WMU’s early history. They love Jesus more than they love status or privilege. They value Jesus’ love more than the opinions of others, and they aren’t afraid to break the rules.

Why am I involved in WMU? Because women like Judith and Courtney welcome me and accept me. They are my family, my community. I see the way they constantly look for ways to love people the way Jesus did, and I’m drawn to that. They help me see Christ. They help me know how to be more like Him.

What’s your why? Join the WMU Foundation on social media during the month of December as we discuss our why. If you’re not on social media, write to us and tell us why you or your WMU group is involved in WMU. We may use your response in an upcoming article or feature it on social media.

Written by Candice Lee, Marketing Director for the WMU Foundation. 

Let Us (Reintroduce) Ourselves

We’re the WMU Foundation. Nice to meet you.

Many people in Baptist life know WMU. They maybe personally be involved or they’ve had a mom or grandmother who loved WMU. But you may not know the WMU Foundation, and we would like to introduce ourselves.

We love WMU, and we are committed to the work of God’s kingdom through their organization. We believe in what WMU stands for, and we work hard to financially support WMU’s commitment to missions.

However, the WMU Foundation is a separate organization, independent of national WMU. The WMU Foundation was established in 1995 as its own 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation so we can most effectively support WMU and other Baptist ministry partners.

Our staff is small. We have 5 employees, and only 3 are full-time. We manage money for other Baptist organizations, like churches and Baptist ministries. We earn a small management fee from these clients, which helps us pay salaries and expenses. Because of this, we do not have to take a portion of your donation to pay our operating costs.

100% of your gift goes exactly where you intend for it to go—supporting those who take the gospel to all nations.

We have a talented board of directors. It is made of current and former missionaries, missions and ministry leaders, and business experts. Their job is to make sure we wisely and effectively manage the resources entrusted to us. Our board members travel to Birmingham, Alabama, twice a year where they make decisions about investments, scholarships and grants, and development efforts.

Whatever your missions or ministry passion, we are your Foundation. We have funds and endowments supporting every interest you can imagine—scholarships for missionary kids, disaster relief, literacy missions, women’s leadership development, WMU in your own state, Christian Women’s Job Corps®/Christian Men’s Job Corps®, and much more. We invite you to join us in supporting missions and ministry in the United States and around the world.