Thanks to the generosity of several donors, LCMS Mission Advancement is promoting opportunities for people in the Synod to have their donations matched when gifts are directed to a number of specific areas of mission and ministry.
The total amount of six available matching or matching-challenge grants is $1.6 million, “lifting the potential impact of this effort to as much as $3.2 million, depending on the church’s response,” explains Mark Hofman, executive director of LCMS Mission Advancement.
“I can’t think of a time in my career — apart from a major campaign effort — when this many matching and challenge-match opportunities were put before God’s people in the LCMS at the same time by one organization,” Hofman said. “I find it to be a bit stunning, because each of them reflects a deep passion for seeing the Gospel of Jesus carried to the four corners of the world, including here in the United States. The amount of each matching or challenge-match grant is significant. We see each reflecting the desire of the friend who supplied it to help us all, as the body of Christ, proclaim our Lord’s truth and love to others in word and deed. Each of these friends is encouraging you and me to step out with a similar bold faith in our heavenly Father, regardless of how much He leads us to give in response to the Gospel.”
Hofman pointed out that the first four matching or challenge-match initiatives listed in this story “support core Synod work” and the other two “target special opportunities to extend the Synod’s impact in the world — one nationally and one internationally.”
The six focus areas where gifts can be matched are:
- Synod, Unrestricted (Together As Synod Fund): One hundred percent of any first-time donation to the Together As Synod Fund, or the amount of any increase compared to an unrestricted gift made in the last calendar year, will be matched dollar for dollar if received by Dec. 31, 2015. The amount of the challenge grant is $100,000 and the Synod must receive at least $100,000 in qualifying gifts to receive the grant.
- The Global Mission Fund (supporting both LCMS National and International Mission): First-time donors to the LCMS who are giving to the Global Mission Fund (including those giving through the Ascending Roots program of the fund) before Dec. 31 will have their contributions matched dollar for dollar if the total of their gifts received is at least $100,000. Donors must not have a record of donating to the LCMS, with the exception of a gift to a disaster-relief effort.
- National Mission: Any gift designated by the donor to support the Synod’s Office of National Mission will have double the impact, thanks to a $400,000 matching grant. There is no deadline, and gifts will be matched until the grant is fully subscribed.
- International Mission: Every gift designated to support the projects and field expenses in the budget of the Office of International Mission (excluding gifts to Network Support Model missionaries) will be matched up to a total of $100,000, thanks to a challenge-grant commitment in that amount. Donations must be received by Dec. 31, and the total of such gifts must be $100,000 or more for the Synod to receive the grant.
- The Global Seminary Initiative: Every gift received in support of the Synod’s Global Seminary Initiative will be matched dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $400,000 by a challenge-matching grant. To receive the grant, the Synod must document the total of qualifying gifts to the anonymous donor.
- The Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty: Every gift supporting the new Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., will be matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous donor, up to $500,000.
“Each of these is a significant opportunity for everyone in the LCMS to prayerfully consider,” said Hofman. “Because an article like this won’t answer every question that arises, we stand ready to help anyone contemplating a response to one or more of these opportunities. That help could also mean we put a person in touch with specific ministry leaders, so together they can have a conversation beyond simple finances — one that involves the impact that person can have on those who need to know Jesus as their Savior, and how a particular ministry or initiative can be a partner in doing that through a donation. Our mission and ministry leaders are open to those kinds of conversations.”
For more information about these matching and challenge-match initiatives, call LCMS Mission Advancement at 888-930-4438 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate online, visit lcms.org/givenow and look for the red “Gifts Matched” banners.
Posted Oct. 7, 2015