Wondering If Anyone Will Match My Two Cents
I have debated in my mind for quite some time whether I should post this or not. Ultimately two points pushed me over the edge to do so. First, every time I read the article I link to below I get find that my problems with it do not diminish. Second, hardly anyone reads this blog so if I am wrong then my damage will be minimal. Of course, if I am right, which I think I am, then any impact will be wimpy at best.
With that little introduction I want to give my two cents about the whole idea of matching gifts to charities. It happens quite often and as best as I can figure someone has a chunk of money, let’s just say about $270,000 and they decide to donate it to some worthy cause. Let’s just say that the cause is one that prints and distributes bibles. So they write a check, send it to the organization and moves on. Their prayer is that the Lord uses this amount in a wonderful manner and that many who do not have the Word of God might finally own a copy. Except that is not what happens.
Instead the person contacts the said bible organization and tells them that they desire to give up to $270,000 as a matching gift. Cool! Now, if a whole bunch of other people hear about this then they can send in their smaller amounts, hopefully to the total amount of $270,000 and the organization now has $540,000. But implicit in this whole scenario is that if only $100,000 is brought in from others then that amount is matched and the group gets $200,000. Am I the only person who finds this remotely offensive?
Here is my point, if the person who is doing the matching gift offer is really going to give that whole amount, then why even bother with claiming that he/she is going to match any giving up to that amount? At what point does that become manipulation and even dishonesty? Recently Crossway sent out a letter that exploded on several blogs related to a matching grant that, amazingly enough, matches the dollar amount I referenced above. Read carefully this quote (emphasis through bold is added):
We have been offered a matching grant in the amount of $270,000, if we are able to raise an additional $270,000 to match the grant.
The purpose of the grant is to help provide the Bible and Bible learning resources free to 1 million people globally—free via the Internet, and free globally, anywhere and everywhere, on every major tablet and smart phone device—particularly to people in great need in China, India, and Africa.
Now I know I am not the brightest nor the greatest mind trotting around blogdom, but this is wrong in my book. We have people with great need and the ability to provide them the Bible free. But all of this is only if this donor can manipulate others to have the same passion he has to donate money to Crossway. And that is what I see happening. If the donor has this burden, then he should give. But he should not use his burden to manipulate others to have a similar (though with less money) burden.
Well, the plan worked and the money was raised. They praise God who did more than they thought they could ask or think. But I don’t get the sense it was God as much as it was manipulation. Was this intentional? I highly doubt it. But it is manipulation still. Why not simply send the letter out and say, “Hey, we received a very gracious gift of X amount. It helps us reach halfway to the amount needed to do Y task. We want you to know about this and would like you to consider giving something toward it as well.”
I have personally made the decision that I will not give to a need when it is marketed in the manner of a matching grant. I just want organizations to ask. No gimmicks at all.
Well, that is my two cents. I wonder now if someone might match that and help me understand why this is a proper way to do business for the Kingdom.