As a nonprofit leader who has won several awards and accolades over the years, I’m always struck by the confusion people have between attention and assumed financial success because of the attention. On more than one occasion people have told me after reading about us in the paper, they are going to stop giving to Forgotten Voices because it is clear to them we don’t need their small gift anymore.
I assure people they are mistaken on two fronts. First, every gift is important and every gift is going to achieve our important mission of equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities. Forgotten Voices needs your gift and every gift. No matter how small, your gifts help us do what God has created us to do. There is NOTHING small about that. Second, we have received very little uptick in giving as a result of publicity. At best the publicity has increased confidence people have in giving to us, but not necessarily in us receiving more. At least not yet. Even if that were to happen, we stand ready to help tens of thousands of more children. Sadly, our mission will be needed more and more. So keep sharing about us with people you encounter.
My favorite kind of attention is a referral. When you tell one friend about us and they start giving too, that’s the kind of attention we like. That says that you believe what we believe — that we are doing something worthy of investment — investing in the dreams of children who have lost their parents, but need us to help champion their dreams. Keep telling people about us and why you support us. Invite them to give today.
A caution to nonprofit leaders and young upstarts. When I was a kid (and young adult), I remember dreaming of running for Congress or President someday, answering questions to the papers on a daily basis. But I learned something along the way that I was reminded of last night when reading a new favorite book of mine, “Ordering Your Private World”. Seeking time in the press or seeking out awards are often fruitless exercises. While we are truly honored to receive the awards and recognition we have received at Forgotten Voices, that is by no means our goal. We don’t have the kind of ministry that wants to seek out attention just for getting attention. And the work we have before us is never done. We definitely want more people to hear about us and we want people to continue writing about us, but not just for the attention. Give us attention because of the children we get to speak for, who lack a stage to speak from without our ministry.
So, keep praying that the message of our mission’s effectiveness spreads deep and wide. Pray that more people hear about the work of Forgotten Voices and their opportunity to bring hope to another child, waiting for life to happen. Pray people don’t just hear about our work, but are moved to join you in giving.
Please give today to help us meet our on-going financial needs. Just $10 (or $10,000+) helps. Thanks.
I’m honored to serve with you all. Thanks for investing in Forgotten Voices.
Follow me on Twitter: @ryanmkeith