Donors and Their New Adventures in Giving, part III: Why can’t the adventure be missions AND giving?

I flat-out love the concept of Adventures in Mission’s The World Race:

The World Race is an 11-month Christian mission trip to 11 different countries around the world, and it’s not your typical missions experience.  It’s a way for young adults to abandon a traditional lifestyle in exchange for a dramatic paradigm shift. Through adventure, ministry, community, and self-discovery, World Racers develop broken hearts that propel their hands to act for God’s kingdom around the globe.  The best part of the World Race is it’s merely the beginning of a life-long journey.

Now that is a nice P to E move.

But here’s my question: Why can’t the adventure be missions and giving?

Here’s how The World Race site describes “support raising”, under the page entitled Support Raising 101:

Support-raising is the process of getting financial support so that you can go on the mission trip of your choice.


Fortunately, the site does quickly add the next paragraph which at least begins to steer away from the traditional transactional fundraising (ttf) approach:

Sometimes, it’s easier for support raising to be understood as ministry partnering, because it’s not just about getting the finances to go on your mission trip. We want to empower your donors in the ministry, as well, whether through giving, prayer, or hands-on service.

Good step, good step. But why not create a giving process that not only empowers the donors but transforms the person going on the trip?

Take the example of Toby Ord, the Oxford philosophy prof about whom we previously wrote. Ord has pledged to give away a third of his salary this year, plus ten percent every year thereafter in an effort to donate one million pounds.

Why not set up the “support raising” this way:

Hi. My name is [Mission trip participant]. I recently found out that if I make a salary of $38,500, that puts me in the top one percent of the richest people on Planet Earth, earning more than 35 times what the typical earth dweller makes in a year.

You’ve probably heard of people taking a vow of poverty? Well, I’ve decided to take a vow of wealth: I’ve decided to be in the top 1% of the richest people on earth…but not the top 0.9%, since that might be a bit too much. So I’m committing to give away 10 percent of my income until I earn $38,500 a year, and then once I reach that income level I’m committing to give away two thirds of everything I earn above that, with the remaining third going into savings.

Given the degree I’m pursuing, I estimate that means I’ll be able to give away approximately $2 million in my lifetime, as the Lord permits.

I’ll soon be taking a trip around the world with a group of other young people who have made a similar vow, so that we can scout out firsthand the best ways and places where we can give the money. Given the eleven places we’re visiting, I imagine we’ll be profoundly changed in that process, and if you’d find it to be helpful for me to share with you what I see, I’d be delighted to be changed by the experience simultaneously with you.

The total cost of the trip is $14,300. I’m seeking 143 people to contribute $100 each. You put up the $100, I’ll put up the vow of wealth. I’m projecting that combination will turn your $100 into $20,000 in giving over the next forty years.

Would you like to participate?    

That seems to me to sure beat “Please give me money so that I can go on the mission trip of my choice.”

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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5 Responses to Donors and Their New Adventures in Giving, part III: Why can’t the adventure be missions AND giving?

  1. Roy says:

    Good insights, Eric. Hope to meet you in person sometime (just missed you at an event earlier this month). Tracy Tucker raves about your work! Here’s a bit I did on my blog that you might enjoy:

    • EFoley says:

      Good to connect with you if only electronically, Roy–hope to meet you in person as the Lord permits. Thanks for the blog link–you have written engagingly about subjects close to my heart!

  2. Pingback: David Platt, I’ll See Your $50,000 and Lower You $11,500 | Transformational Giving

  3. John Lee says:

    Wow, that is challenging bro! This is radical direction that we need to hear from Christian development gurus like yourself. I think entries like that must make God’s heart smile.

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