With 2011 coming to a quick end, one thing that non-profit groups really promote are Year-End Gifts. These are gifts given at the end of the calendar year that are a blessing to needy groups but also applicable to be deducted on that current year’s taxes. Think of it as a “Christmas Bonus” for non-profits. Here are a list of a few to consider giving to as a blessing. Obviously I want to encourage your primary giving to be through the local church you’re a member of, and support her ministries. But if you find yourself wanting to give beyond your normal giving, let me encourage you to consider these as options.
Compassion International – Compassion is a group that meets the needs of children in impoverished areas. Their motto is “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.” They are a great group that develops communities, gives basic necessities (food, water, medicine, education) and covers everything with the Gospel. Carrie and I have sponsored a child in Kenya for almost 3 years and it has been a great blessing to be part of.
World Vision – World Vision is a similar ministry to Compassion in that they go into impoverished areas and build communities, share the Gospel, and provide basic needs for children and families. They have some great options for unique gifts, including seeds and livestock which produce a replicating legacy that goes far beyond the initial investment.
Voice of the Martyrs – VoM is the publishing, speaking, and advocacy group for the persecuted church. The comfort and freedom we enjoy to worship is not shared by the majority of Christians. VoM provides legal resources, support for families, medical care, and advocacy for Christians imprisoned, tortured, or killed for their faith. You can send Bibles to closed countries, support the family of a pastor jailed for his faith, and provide for some basic needs.
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary – MABTS is a SBC-affiliated school in Memphis TN that seeks to train pastors, teachers, and missionaries for effective service in the local church and on the mission field. MABTS is entirely donor-funded, rather than receiving financing through the Cooperative Program. They have existed and been blessed because of the financial sacrifices of thousands of people and churches.
International Mission Board – The IMB is the international missions arm of the SBC, and is responsible for the funding, assignment, and support of over 5,000 missionaries around the world. The IMB has a presence in almost every country on the planet, and is always in need of more funding to be able to train pastors, plant churches, and engage the nations for the Gospel.
North American Mission Board – NAMB is the domestic missions arm of the SBC. The United States now is the 5th most unchurched and unreached nation (behind China, India, Russia, and Indonesia). NAMB is committed to planting churches in strategic cities like New York, Boston, Seattle, and Miami, training pastors and equipping missionaries to engage people groups in North America.
Boston Church Planting Network – Boston is a city with 2% evangelical presence. You would do better to go in the middle of the Amazon jungle to find a Christian than if you went to the Boston metro area. That said, there is a group of dedicated church planters who are laboring and plodding along to reach a very callous city for the cause of Christ.
Acts 29 – Acts 29 is a church-planting network that has planted over 400 churches across the United States and in other nations. They are committed to training pastors and developing leaders who will plant more churches and reach more people.
Campus Outreach – CO is a university-based ministry that has a primary objective of making disciples of college students. Their staff are encouraged to develop relationships with students and invest in their lives. They believe God’s math is multiplication, and through that they are reaching more students and developing leaders who will replicate the process. They are big believers in staying small and developing new works when one group gets too big.
This list is far from exhaustive, just some ideas to consider. If you have more you want to share, comment to this post with a link and we’ll get the word out there!