Funding Requests and Online Giving Campaigns
As chair of Mission Outreach and a person with access to the church’s Facebook (FB) page I am sometimes asked if “the church” could support a particular cause or program either financially or by using the church’s FB page to promote it. The church can have a powerful influence on individuals and the community and I take that platform very seriously. I consider a number of criteria when deciding what to do.
#1 – Is the person actively engaged in the congregation? This goes beyond membership, attendance, and pledging on a weekly basis. Does this person or group work to support Christ’s message? Are they volunteers, or contributors in some manner.
#2 – Does the request align with the mission of the church? For example, feeding a member who is hungry after a job loss or a health crisis. Helping a family get their lives in order after a house fire. Helping raise money and awareness about a mission trip all align with Christ’s message and our church’s mission.
#3 – If the funding request is for a program, who is the target audience, and will it deepen the congregation’s involvement or broaden our reach into the community? I’ve had requests for running a grief discussion group. This is valid, worthy, and important work but it would benefit a very small number of people.
#4 – Would I want to defend my decision to the congregation or council? It is a privilege to have a chair position and access to the Facebook content which I take seriously. I want to be respectful yet also challenge us to act tangibly in the real world. If I’m challenged as to why I posted one thing on FB and not another I want there to be apparent reasons behind it.
If a request doesn’t fit neatly into the questions above, I seek the advice of others for their input.