Recession underscores tough times for non-profits

Everyone and every institution prioritizes how they spend money.

Undoubtedly, some of you reading this think the City of Los Angeles was foolish to spend $1.4 million for its share of Michael Jackson’s memorial while California, literally, is broke.

Or consider the fact that fans contributed $16,000 to NASCAR driver Carl Long last month to help him pay off a fine for having an oversized engine.

Whether or not these are frivolous expenditures are in the eye of the beholder.

Just ask my wife when she snickers-and vice versa – at some of the old cassettes (not even CDs, mind you) which were purchased during high school and college years. Let me know if you find that old Survivor cassette of mine; it’s been a long time since I last heard “Eye of the Tiger.”

Humor aside, the recession has prompted many individuals and organizations to re-evaluate and tighten their belts.
Unfortunately, that now clearly extends to Christian non-profits.

A Religion News Service story points to the shutdown of a Michigan charity and job cuts at World Vision.

We’ve reported too about the needs for food banks to keep up with ever-increasing demand. Certainly as the unemployment rate creeps closer to double digits this need will grow.

Our church has a mission project going where kids can donate money in Sunday School to buy a Lego. The building of the Legos represents a brick in a medical center in Sierra Leone which is being built.

I’m not out to promote one project over another. I believe you should always prayerfully consider where your money goes and where it can help the most.

But whether it’s the local food pantry or digging a well in Africa, now is a great time to give, not for the tax write-off, but in a small measure to share the love of Christ when it is needed most to so many.



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