What’s with the Missions Funding Changes?
By now, most of you have heard that some changes are coming to the way in which we (The Alliance) will be funding missions. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. For a more comprehensive treatment of the issue, see the Alliance GCF webpage.
- What is changing about the way in which donors give? Previously, donors could give directly to any of the four structures (aXcess, CAMA, Envision, marketplace ministries) or to an international worker (IW) by designating one of their five funds: support fund, outfit fund, work fund, vehicle fund, or work special fund. Going forward, there will be two easy ways to give; to the Alliance as a whole, or to a worker you love. Giving to the Alliance as a whole benefits all four structures. Giving to an IW now contributes to their support AND allows them flexibility to use the funds as most needed.
- Why the change? Two of the largest factors are simplicity and alignment. Giving to four structures or five IW funds was confusing for donors, and the new approach makes giving more understandable. Further, under the old system, the individual funds for IWs (outfit fund, vehicle fund, etc.) were not included in the Alliance Missions budget. This meant that expenses that were crucial to mission fulfillment were “off budget” and depended on IWs raising support to cover them. The new approach fully recognizes all that is required for ministry to occur and aligns our structure accordingly.
- Will Alliance IWs have to begin raising their own support? In short, some of it. Support for IWs encompasses several arenas: salary, housing, child education, logistical support, training, ministry funding. Some of these arenas, for example the funds mentioned in the preceding answer, required support raising in the past. Additionally, almost all IWs presently receive some level of designated giving directly to their support fund, and IWs with Envision and marketplace ministries are currently raising 100% of their support. Moving forward, IWs with aXcess are being asked to work to incrementally increase the amount of giving that is designated for their ministry.
- Should our church just designate all of our GCF giving to the support of the IW we are partnered with? No. The vast majority of an IW’s support, and ALL of the funding needed to launch into new unreached fields, comes from the general GCF. Therefore, support of the GCF as a whole is imperative. It would, however, be appropriate for your board and/or missions team to prayerfully consider allocating a percentage of your GCF giving to the IW you partner with.
- When will all of these changes take place? The new funding model will go live on July 1, 2021.
- When can we begin to talk about this with our church? Immediately. While some of the structures will not be updated until July 1, 2021 (e.g. the online giving website), communication can, and should, begin right away.
As mentioned at the outset, a more robust treatment of this issue is available at www.cmalliance.org/gcf. There you will find helpful FAQ sheets, treasurer information, as well as three explanatory videos from the National Office team. In addition, please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or want to discuss anything further: (406) 647-2764 // firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of the day, structures come and structures go. One of the drivers behind this change is the growing desire of donors to give to individuals as opposed to a more general fund. In a generation or two, we could see this preference reverse, and accordingly our structure may change again. Structures are tools that assist, not drive, mission. If we, as leaders of the church, lead the church to see and fully embrace Christ’s heart for a lost world, God will provide the funds necessary to complete the work.
Stay focused on the main thing friends,