MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Friday, the first day of June, 2018.
Glad to have you along for today’s episode of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.
Now, before we get to Culture Friday, I want to call your attention to something different for this month. You heard a new voice at the very beginning of the program, introducing the program, and introducing our spring giving drive. Today’s Day 1.
REICHARD: Pierson Gerritsen is chief development officer for WORLD. He’s on the line from St. Louis, and thanks to Bott Radio there for use of the studio. Pierson, good morning.
PIERSON GERRITSEN, CDO: Good morning, Mary. Hi, Nick. Glad to be with you today.
EICHER: Hey, last time we all got together to talk like this was back in December, and we were doing an end-of-year giving drive.
GERRITSEN: And what a drive it was. We had a big goal then to double the number of online gifts that we’d ever gotten in December, and we did. You did! You really showed up, and it was a nail-biter to the end, but there on December 31st, you definitely pushed us over, and we were just excited to have that show of support.
EICHER: And we do this a couple times a year. That was end of year. A lot of non-profit organizations will raise money at the end of the year for obvious reasons. But for us, we have an end of year of our own, so this is sort of the second time we need to come back.
GERRITSEN: Exactly. We’re on a fiscal year, and so the end of our fiscal year is June 30th and the beginning of our next is July 1. So, here in June, we are doing a final giving drive to try to raise the amount of money we need to fund our work.
EICHER: And so throughout this month we’ll be talking more specifically about that and, you know, we emphasize that point every day here on the program. It’s a listener-supported program. And the other thing that we emphasize everyday is that we’re mission-driven. We repeat that mission. We say that WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires. And we do that because, at the end of the day, we don’t think of ourselves as a product. We don’t think of ourselves even as a radio program or a website or a print magazine. What we do we do as a practical demonstration that we believe what we say we do about biblically objective journalism. So, it’s a practical expression—a radio program, a magazine, a website—all of the things that we do, including journalism education, those are a practical expression of what we say we believe, that unique mission statement.
GERRITSEN: Yes, and, really, when we boil it down, it’s renewal of the mind. It’s a resource for people to be transformed in their thinking. Paul writes about it in Romans: “Do not be conformed to the ways of this world, but rather be transformed in the renewal of your mind.” And how many things are around us calling us to conform? All over! So we put programs like this together to be a resource for you for that transformation, and it happens to take significant resources to put the program together.
REICHARD: You know, that mission is what really grabbed me. That’s why I left the legal profession, truth be told. The chance to do journalism this way came about because of the mid-career World Journalism Institute course. Now, that’s separate from the WJI college students’ course that Nick is just wrapping up today, but I got the chance to enroll in that mid-career course back in 2011. I’ve just never looked back. WORLD’s brand of journalism lets me practice one of my passions; that is, to make the law understandable to non-lawyers and still remain credible to lawyers. To be able to connect court rulings to our daily lives, that’s just something I haven’t heard on other news outlets. WORLD came along, saw the niche, and allows me to fill it. I’m so grateful. Just think how these religious liberty questions that come before the courts could further our liberties or destroy our liberties. Religious liberty, after all, is the very first freedom listed in the Bill of Rights. If that falls, the rest can’t stand. So, this journalism, the kind every reporter here is trained how to practice, helps people understand the news from a Biblical perspective. So, I feel very personally invested in that mission.
GERRITSEN: And what you just said there is perfect. Everyone has a personal story about what WORLD means to them, about what — a story might have encouraged them, or passed it on to someone else who needed some education and some resources to think differently. The way you use this with your families to train up the next generation. And I get to go around the country and meet you and hear your stories and bring those back to the team for their encouragement, too.
EICHER: Well, Pierson, let’s talk specifically about what we’re hoping to accomplish this month with the spring giving drive.
GERRITSEN: Right, so about half of our operating budget comes from donations. Those gifts given online, mailed in to us, and as we approach the end of our fiscal year, we still need to raise about $800,000. So that’s our goal for June. We’ll have a thermometer, if you will, going on wng.org where you can follow along on our progress. You can also go there to donate: wng.org/donate.
EICHER: Pierson Gerritsen is chief development officer for WORLD. Pierson, great to hear your voice. Thanks so much.
GERRITSEN: Thanks for having me.
REICHARD: Thank you, Pierson.