A Direct Threat To Church Fund Raising:
(Changing the World with the Internet While Building a Methodist Congregation) Part II
In Part I (http://tinyurl.com/4qmf6kv) we looked at new Micro-Missions fund raising on line by the UMC and stated the need for churches to rethink their solicitation policies and procedures when taking in donations for missions. This is the age for enhanced openness and transparency in all we do.
A real threat to church fund raising is brewing in Montana of all places. Montana!
The "Chronicle of Philanthropy" (http://tinyurl.com/4yf4z5n) ran an article today on a class action lawsuit being attempted against the fund raising activities of Greg Mortenson, a man that seems to be an All American icon, certainly a personal hero of many of us. If you have read the NY Times best seller, "Three Cups of Tea" you would probably agree that there are moments in the book that Greg brings you in touch with your better angels, puts tears in your eyes, and lets you reflect on what's truly important.
He's being sued. What others are saying: http://tinyurl.com/4yf4z5n
And the consequences of this class action suit has its cross hairs directly on nonprofit fund raising... i.e. like our own church.
Raising money on line to fill a community need is not a new idea, but it is one that requires legal controls, from top to bottom. Anytime money is raised online it falls under many jurisdictions of federal and state agencies, with possible international trade regulations as well, via the WTO or for that matter even foreign policy ramifications. Donating money through an arm of an established church is ultimately accountable to controlling agencies through record keeping. Money donated through a church sponsored relief program, generally referred to as a “Church Mission” usually does more than give the donor a tax exemption. While large donations ($1000 and more) seem to be correlated to tax relief, the $5, $10, $20, $50 and even the $100 donors are far more oriented to mission results. Small donors tend to be our youth between the ages of 18 to 34. They are most likely to pay bills and make donations through on line services using credit cards and/or PayPal-type donor strategies.
More to follow.