Are General Fund Contributions Better than Designated Contributions?
Q: My wife and I have started involving our children in our stewardship decisions, having family discussions before we make contributions to the ministries we support. As we talked about a contribution to Heaven's Family, my son felt that we should give to the General Fund since you know the needs better than we do. What are your thoughts on this?
A: We've created designated funds as our ministry partners around the world have shared common specific needs among the Body of Christ. That is why we have our Widows Fund, Critical Medical Needs Fund, Persecuted Christians Fund, and so on. One-hundred percent of fund-designated gifts are used to meet the specific needs served by those funds. We also have a General Fund, because without it, Heaven's Family could not exist. In addition to covering administrative expenses, a portion of the General Fund is used to meet needs where designated funds fall short.
The needs that constantly flow into our offices are overwhelming, and we never have enough resources to meet all of them. So we are very thankful for gifts to the various designated funds, as they make our job easier when we have to make those painful decisions regarding what needs to meet and what needs not to meet. If every contributor only gave to the General Fund, we would have to decide every month how to distribute $100,000 among $1,000,000 worth of needs. The fund balances in each designated fund help us make those decisions. On the other hand, we are also very thankful for everyone who gives to the General Fund, as the ministry of Heaven's Family would come to a screeching halt without them, and then no needs would be met.
Nobody knows the needs of the Body of Christ more than the Head of the Body—who is Jesus. He is Lord over the ministry of Heaven's Family. So our desire is that the "members" of Heaven's Family (that includes you and your family) be directed by the Holy Spirit as they give. Jesus has left us with a good Helper who will direct us in all we do, including our giving. So we encourage you to seek Him.
Keep being a great example to those disciples whom you are raising up to follow Jesus! Children learn what they live!
David Warnock is happy to assist you with your questions regarding strategic stewardship. You can reach him at (412) 833-5826 or email him at DavidW [at] HeavensFamily [dot] org.