A few years back I started promoting on social media something I called "Give $25" in the month of December. It was to encourage every alum of any college ministry to give $25 to it by the end of the year. My hope was that it would spread. It hasn't. Basically, it is just me and a three or four friends that promote it.
But, I haven't given up.
Here is my thinking. I don't intend it to be just Baptist. In my more godly moments, I realize that there are lots of college ministries God is using other than just my tribe. And, if we all of every tribe promoted it, all would benefit.
Why $25? Why not $50, $100, or "give what you can"? Many years ago I finally understood that lots of alums and friends do not give money to a college ministry they appreciate because they do not feel they can give a "significant amount". So, they don't give anything. Most of us can afford $25 to give away even at Christmas time.
If every alum of your college ministry were to give $25 once a year, most of you would have the biggest annual budget you have ever had. Many college ministries are decades old and have touched hundreds and even thousands of students. Younger ministries would still have a significant windfall. Lots of those would be super blessed by ten people giving $25.
Here is the catch. I am saying just promote #give25. It is not give $25 to MY MINISTRY. If we were to all just say, we want you to bless whatever ministry blessed you. Did you know that many denominational ministries are not allowed to ask an individual for money....even their own alumni? Wouldn't it be crazy if we promoted #give25 to the ministry that blessed you and those that need it, but cannot ask, started getting money in the mail from their alums. Many of them would give, but do not know it is needed.
If we just spread the word nationally and it was not just about our ministry, I wonder how God might bless and use it. I have been fascinated to see that InterVarsity is advertising like crazy on Facebook. Their theme is, "Reach TWICE as many students this year=end". They have a goal of raising $150,000. I was surprised to see it was not more. That would be 6,000 people giving $25. I have no idea what this Facebook campaign is costing them or what results they are seeing.
What if every parent or grandparent were to see something on social media about giving $25 to the ministry that was or had blessed their children or grandchildren?
I began to think much more about year end giving some years ago when my son-in-law told me that he got some year end money from his firm. What??? Being a College Minister, I didn't know people got extra money in December. He told me it often was handed out on December 31st and he would write a check to some causes they support and mail them that day. But, he and my daughter have to know there is a need. They have their church and some others on their mind and heart.
Here is a little secret...some will send more than $25, but leave that up to them. We have to mean it when we say "Give $25"! Don't hint for more. And use the hashtag. Put it on social media that does not even relate to it. So, join in me in asking people to #give25 unless you are not allowed to do that. Then, just pray for those that are doing it.
How many millions of dollars could be given this month to college ministry in America if every alum would give $25? It would be a miraculous movement of God.
PS: If you send out a year end newsletter or update, don't forget to put a return envelope in it.....if you are allowed to do that. Don't break any policy rules.
PPS: You send a check for $25 to the ministry that blessed you. I have done mine.
Arliss Dickerson's new book, ALMOST EVERYTHING ABOUT COLLEGE MINISTRY, is available at amazon.com