This will be the first school year that Simple Charity operates as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and let me just say, I’m pumped about it. As the summer winds to a close, our volunteer staff is busy laying the groundwork for a great year. I have a to-do list a thousand pages long and many moving pieces that need to be set in place. However, one to-do, one central, practical challenge, stands out as the most important.
Raising money to fight global poverty.
Being a transparent nonprofit organization is important. We are working on developing an informative website. We are reviewing legal documents and writing philosophies, statements, and agreements so that everyone can be on the same page. It’s essential that donors and staff all know what is going on. But transparency is not our central challenge.
Operating with integrity is important. We must have the highest standards for how we handle finances and for how we hold ourselves accountable to all stakeholders. I’m confident that integrity will characterize Simple Charity’s operations. But integrity is not our central challenge.
Doing creative and fun events is important. Many of our chapters are brainstorming events they can do during the school year. Simple Charity uses spray paint to make shirts; we’ve hosted parties and poetry slams, Frisbee and basketball tournaments, chili contests and banquets. These events show the spirit of our students. But creativity is not our central challenge.
Clear and consistent communication is important. We’re working on building a team that can send out blogs, email newsletters, and regular reports about all we’re doing. It’s essential that we promote our message and keep donors informed. But communication is not our central challenge.
Our eyes must be set on how to raise money for trustworthy nonprofits. This is our central mission, our daily call to action, the lifeblood of Simple Charity. As an organization our central challenge is charity: the giving and raising of as much funds as possible for nonprofits.
Why? This is the central action we will perform because it flows from our central motivation. Love.
Love for the global poor will put giving money to trustworthy non-profits as its bottom-line action. No matter what we say, the only way a difference will be made in the world is if we give.
Should we focus on convincing people to give? On writing effectively? On arguments and reason from Scriptures? These are important. But people will not listen to Simple Charity if we do not work to raise money ourselves. If we raise head-turning amounts of money this year, people will take our message seriously. Why? Because we’ve done something. We’re not all talk. We’re doers, lovers who love in deed and in truth.
How will we raise money for the global poor? Through hard work, creativity, and dedication. Let’s make t-shirts and stickers, plan ambitious events – benefit concerts, 5ks, battle of the bands, fall carnivals, yard sales, car washes – and give generously from our own bank accounts. Let’s set short-term goals and use them to motivate each other.
Let’s encourage each other to remember why Simple Charity exists. Let’s say things like “The $10 from this car we’re washing will help a girl to go to high school in Kenya” and “Signing up for this 5k will give a family clean water for life” and “These t-shirts we’re making will each protect four kids from malaria”.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
We have been saved by grace, so let us work hard to walk in the works God has prepared for us. We are called by Jesus Christ to love with ambition. With drive and courage and tenacity.
By God’s grace, we will be steadfastly dedicated to smart, sincere, simple charity.
CEO of Simple Charity