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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving: “We have only used HOPE as a conduit”

We received this email from an individual who has chosen to give very generously over the years, and thought these words were worth sharing.

This person, together with his family, has been responsible for helping poor people transform entire villages into places where they can drink clean water, grow enough food, start businesses, and send their children to school.

We say all of this not to glorify the givers, who would not want us to do so, but to emphasize that they are people who know what they are talking about when they talk about the subject of giving. This friend writes:

“I can't help thinking about what you said about people donating to [HOPE International Development Agency] or to David McKenzie [ed. whether people think of their gifts as going to the charity itself or to the people like International President David McKenzie who might be exhorting donors to give]. 

Really thinking about it, that has never occurred to me.  We…have always thought that our donations went to the people of Cambodia, Ethiopia, the Philippines or whatever country that has a population of really poor people. 

We have only used [HOPE] as a conduit to get the funds to the country of our designation.  AND the only reason that we use [HOPE] in that way is because you and [HOPE] have set in place a mechanism to make sure that the funds reach their intended destination and attain their intended results.

Maybe it would be wise to let the people know that Hope is only a conduit to get funds to their intended destination and that none of the funds stay with [HOPE].”


We agree and we think this man has put it beautifully. If you can trust your charity to be a conduit rather than a final destination for your gifts, then you may be inspired to give more joyfully.

We are all tired of feeling like we are bankrolling charity executives. The ‘intended results’ are those transformed villages that these givers have stood alongside and given a push towards self-sufficiency. So we believe that the more power we can give to donors and to the poor, the less power that we, as the charitable ‘conduit’ will have. That’s just exactly as it should be.