On Dec. 1, United Methodists will come together for the third year to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. Sponsored by the denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries, individuals, churches, and annual conferences (regional offices) combine Advent and Christmas seasonal giving with global mission and outreach opportunities. The theme for the 2015 campaign is “Activate Love. Transform Lives. Change the World.”
Momentum has been building for several years as more people are aware of the day and what it means. Marie Kuch-Stanovsky, who chairs the communication and development committee of Global Ministries’ board of directors, expressed enthusiasm for the response over the past two years. “Every day United Methodists activate love, transform lives, and change the world through their faithful work.” She continued, “UMC #GivingTuesday gives us the opportunity on one day to intentionally build missional relationships through The Advance, a channel we trust.”
Directors approved allocating matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 1, 2015, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Central Time. Kuch-Stanovsky explained that to stretch the matching funds, a maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds and a project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.
The board president, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward (North Carolina) explained the impact of encouraging one day of giving: “While people can and do give through The Advance all year, concentrating efforts on this day shines light on United Methodist ministries throughout the world and evokes extravagant giving.” She added, “UMC #GivingTuesday is a celebration of joyful generosity.”
In 2014, more than $2.5 million was donated online to mission and ministries through The Advance on UMC #GivingTuesday. More than 770 projects and missionaries received more than 8,700 gifts. The response was global with donors from 25 countries giving generously.
Because of the success of UMC #GivingTuesday, The United Methodist Church has become a model for other organizations wanting to participate in the larger #GivingTuesday campaign. Global Ministries was among the partners invited to the White House by the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Partnership last year. And an article in USA Today highlighted The United Methodist Church among the significant participants, reporting, “Big names — Microsoft to United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries and PayPal — got involved this year with promises to match donations.”
UMC #GivingTuesday is part of an international movement that builds on the recent U.S. shopping traditions of Black Friday, Local Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. It offers an opportunity to start off the holiday season by giving instead of getting through supporting organizations that have been researched and approved by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. And 100 percent of all gifts made through The Advance are given directly to the designated project.
Through The Advance, United Methodists can give to more than 800 United Methodist-related projects worldwide. Donors can also provide support for any of the more than 300 missionaries. Together, the projects meet a range of needs, from helping survivors cope with natural or civil disasters to helping communities build churches, feed and educate children, and equip hospitals and clinics. Since its founding in 1948, The Advance has helped channel more than 3 million gifts totaling more than $1 billion to thousands of projects and ministries.
Global Ministries offers resources to promote and share the UMC #GivingTuesday campaign at www.umcmission.org/giving-tuesday.
To make a contribution, donors will go to www.umcmission.org/give on UMC #GivingTuesday and donate online to any of the hundreds of projects and missionaries listed there.