These last few weeks of 2019 are key weeks for impact. It’s a natural time of year for churches and organizations to make a lasting impression in their community and around the world. It’s also an opportunity for individuals to make a calculated decision before they file tax forms for 2019; the largest reason most giving to 501c 3 non-profits happens this time of year.
People love to give to solve a problem. However, what about financially investing to prevent a problem?
When we give to solve problems, we tend to be drawn into the need by our emotions. We can count how many people we have helped and how we helped – it’s measurable. Trust me, there is a need for this kind of giving.
However, to have a more positive impact you’ve got to do more than try to solve a problem. You really want to invest your funds because when you invest, you expect a return. Personally, I love investing in organizations that work on prevention.
Heart for Lebanon is trying to solve the problem of poverty, both physical and spiritual, among those who live below the poverty line in the nation of Lebanon. So, we understand the importance of this kind of an investment.
For example, Heart for Lebanon financially invests in children who are at risk. One program we accomplish that with is Hope on Wheels; an educational fun truck that goes to tent settlements on a regular basis (and even to some public schools) where the children have fun with a purpose.
We can count the children (1,200 every month) who attend the two-hour program. We can take pictures of their living conditions that will hit your emotions. What we cannot do is count how many children we have saved from child labor, human trafficking, abuse, etc.
We do know children are less likely to be involved in the problems mentioned above if they live in one of the tent settlements where we work. However, we cannot count specifically how many children in each area have been prevented from suffering through those problems. Over time what we do see is a behavior change.
Let’s consider praying and financially investing to help prevent problems. We use the word investing because there will be (and you should demand) a return on what you invest. It’s a transparency and an accountability issue for us.
What would it look like if we invested a few additional percentage points of our year-end donations to prevent the problem instead of trying to fix the problem? The results I’m convinced will be far superior and we are likely to solve the problem quicker.
Thank you for all you do to make your community and the world a better place!
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