WORLD’s December giving drive

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Monday, the 31st of December, 2018. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.  First up on The World and Everything in It: A big thanks to you if you’ve contributed to our December Giving Drive. 

We have just a few hours left to make an online gift, and a few hours left to get a December 31st postmark on an envelope, because many people prefer to put a check in the mail. Which is to say it’ll be a few days before we know whether we’ve hit our goal.

If you’ve been checking online, you know we’ve got quite a distance to go. So I just want to encourage you if you can to make a gift today of any amount at

REICHARD: Yes, any amount. We’ve really stressed the point that it’s not a dollar goal. It’s a participation goal. We heard from 24 of you from different walks of life, all telling a great giving story.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing those as much as I have.

We have such a diverse community of listeners and readers: missionaries, homeschool moms, political leaders, business professionals, owners, executives, those who work on planes and those who fly them, those who’ve retired and those in college now preparing for their vocation.

What struck me was the honesty of these testimonials.

EICHER: Yes, I remember Judy Joyce of Richmond, Virginia, saying she almost didn’t do one because she was afraid she might cry. I tell you, that’s humbling.

It’s humbling, too, to hear from a young lady like Elaina Bals, a student at The King’s College. She made the point that college is such a pivotal time with worldviews coming at you from all directions. And she relies on our program to help, as Elaina said, to navigate those waters. She said it’s important to cultivate two habits: one of staying informed and the other of supporting those sources that help keep you informed.

REICHARD: Yes, wasn’t that great when she said she wanted to cultivate the habit of giving now, so that when she goes out into the world, gets a job, starts enjoying more income, she wants that habit of generosity established? She’s really wise beyond her years.

Also, I loved hearing Paul Wood of Chicago make the honest admission that he once balked at giving, “assuming that someone else with the same level of appreciation but deeper pockets would take care of it.” And then he came to the realization that he just needed to do what he could, and he did.

EICHER: Right, he said, “when we care about something, we take care of it.” That was awesome.

I also appreciated Jeff Moss of Hudsonville, Michigan, who shared the program and WORLD Magazine with the employees of his business. Even to the point of having his marketing staff formulate news quizzes and awarding prizes for correct answers. He said it made a great impact on the culture of his business. And as he said: challenged us not to be conformed to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.

That was a unique way to support this work.

REICHARD: It was really sweet to hear Joanna Mieling of Burnsville, Minnesota, the other day telling the story several years ago of cutting her VERY LONG hair and selling it, then using the proceeds to give to organizations she’s passionate about. I did like the line about how you don’t have to cut your hair, maybe just your budget, and that, not to worry, it’ll grow back!

EICHER: Yeah, Joanna sent in some pictures. One of them, she’s posing with her husband and you can see her long hair. Then there’s another with her back turned and that one really makes the point about how much hair she had. Then, a really sweet one after her haircut and she’s holding one of her little girls. We’ll put those before and after shots up on Lots of fun!

But all in all, taken together, with all 24 of these, you hear a really solid case for the importance of a program like this, and the importance of listeners like you providing the support necessary to move us forward. It really struck me what a great case it all makes for the why of giving.

REICHARD: Yes, and in law school, we’re taught the mechanics of making a case. Really bring it home to the jury not only the how, but the why. And to answer any objections lingering in people’s minds. A true summation.

And, listen, I’ve heard legitimate objections to giving. There are real obstacles and we should address them seriously.

And I think, because we’re not doing Legal Docket today—we’re resuming that next week— how about we present a closing argument for the December giving drive?

EICHER: The case for supporting the program.

REICHARD: Yeah, except I’d say, I’ve written up a long list of objections. This is really talking my language. And I think Paul Wood already answered a common objection, which is along the lines of the classic 80/20 rule, you know, 20 percent of the people providing 80 percent of the support. Paul was saying he hoped deeper-pocketed people would just step up. But I think that’s such a good point that when you care about something you take care of it.

EICHER: Right, and it’s also the reason we’ve stressed participation, not amount. Because God has given different people different abilities. We think our job here is to persuade everyone to give something and we know God will provide the amount we need.

REICHARD: OK, objection: What little I can give won’t make a difference.

EICHER: Well, think of it like voting.

Does one vote make a difference? Sometimes yes, but much more often, no.

But that’s not the point: it’s a collective expression of support and when you put them all together, they do make a huge difference.

So if you think of your contribution as really small, think of it instead as your way of making a vote of confidence. Then imagine there’s another thousand or so just like you giving a quote-unquote small donation. It’s that gift, effectively times a thousand or more. That does really matter. It really does make a difference.

REICHARD: Objection: How do I know you won’t waste my money?  

EICHER: Well, I can tell you we are a 501(c)3 organization. The law requires us to file a Form 990, and those are open to public inspection.

But we go much further: We are governed by an independent board of directors. Godly men and women who’ve signed a biblically orthodox statement of faith, and they require us to submit to an annual audit. They review our operations and our financial statements. They take their responsibility seriously and they do hold us accountable.

I’ll lob an objection for you to answer: you aren’t all over the globe like NPR or AP.

REICHARD: Well, now that’s certainly true.

We are growing because of your gifts. We have people in Asia and Africa now. A few years ago, we didn’t.

The more we raise, the more ability we have to scale that up. That’s another beauty of non-profit status: we can pour whatever might have been profit back into our journalistic products.

Objection: I don’t agree with 100% of WORLD’s perspectives on various things.

EICHER: I don’t think there’s any way around that objection.

We always strive to analyze stories with a biblical lens. We really think it through. And we don’t always get it right. So, I guess in a way, I don’t agree with 100% of how we might come down on an issue. But I feel like you can trust that we’re coming at it from a perspective of 100% fidelity to the Bible.

Let me say this, too: If you don’t agree with us and, still, you listen to us or read us, I’m just glad you’re here! If you’re committed to the Bible and you come to a different conclusion, just know that we’re striving in the same direction.

And thinking about this another way, if you support the program, you should know there are those listening who disagree. The program is freely available wherever you get your podcasts.

But, to me, that’s an argument for your support: It’s a great outreach tool to friends and neighbors.

OK, Mary, next objection: I already donate to other charities.

REICHARD: We assume you donate, and we are thankful for your generosity for other charitable organizations. It’s one reason we highlight the Hope Awards. Christians are supposed to be charitable. As this program grows in importance to you, we think you’ll eventually support it and God will make a way for you to do that.

Next objection: I already subscribe to the magazine so that ought to be enough.

EICHER: It helps, certainly, and I’m so grateful for that. But it just doesn’t cover all the costs. You may have noticed magazines going out of business left and right. The latest casualty was The Weekly Standard. It’s a difficult environment and so we made the strategic decision to go nonprofit and keep our subscription price affordable, and then explore other avenues for our journalism. And one of those was this new medium of podcasting and it’s attracted a lot of new listeners, tens of thousands more than the number of those who receive WORLD Magazine.

So it’s a vibrant medium, we’d like to expand our coverage here, and we’d like to create new podcasts. We have plans for that and we’re approaching donors to help with seed money for that.

But one of the things that keeps those donors encouraged is to know that the listeners will step up and support the work once it’s established.

And, listen, you’ve made tremendous progress and I want to end on a note of gratitude for your generous giving so far.

REICHARD: That’s such an encouragement to all of us here, and I want to say a heartfelt thank you to those who’ve already contributed to keep us going. We don’t take it lightly. I don’t take it lightly.

EICHER: So, just a few hours left in the December Giving Drive, and if you’ve not given yet, I do hope we’ve made the case and that you’ll visit and put us over the top.

And Mary. It’s about time for us to get roasted. A little New Year’s Eve fun!

REICHARD: Oh, goodie! Time to eat some humble pie. Johnny and Carl have taken over!

EICHER: That’s why we have to be nice to the tech guys! They can do this at any time!

(Photo/Joanna Mieling)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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