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Guidelines For Donors

Biblical guidance for donors… . . .

You, as a donor, desire to honour GOD and to be a blessing to the needy. You will desire that your sacrificial donation to the charity be used wisely and effectively. Let's see what guidelines are found in GOD's Word about giving to those who are in need.

Honour GOD by giving to the poor and needy

The apostle James tells us,

"Religion that GOD our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27).

What is the spiritual fast that GOD has chosen for us? He tells us:

"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?" (Isaiah 58:7)

Ensure that financial safeguards are in place

The apostle Paul was in charge of an offering from various churches for the poor in Jerusalem. He was accompanied by an official appointed by the churches. The apostle Paul wrote,

"He was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honour the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help." (2 Corinthians 8:19).

Paul took pains to ensure that his financial administration of church donations was clearly seen to be done in integrity. He said,

"We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men." [2 Corinthians 8:20-21].

Strong Financial Safeguards
  • Official receipts with printed serial numbers are issued to each donor for each donation.
  • Income and expenditure are documented in detail.
  • All accounts are audited by a qualified accountant and duly certified to be in order.
  • Funds are used primarily for the benefit of the beneficiaries, and all expenses (inclusive of administrative and staff costs) are commensurate with the standards for that country.
  • Financial statements of the charity are available and accessible to all donors after being professionally audited and certified to be in good order.
  • A reputable board has been appointed to ensure that the policies and decisions made are prudently carried out in line with the vision and mission of the charity.
  • The founders of the charity are in good standing with their local church.
  • The personal information of donors are kept confidential, and not divulged to other organizations.
  • Donors are not harassed by a barrage of guilt-inducing pleas if they decide to stop supporting the ministry.
Guard against self-serving officials

The apostle Paul warns us that there will be those who think that "GODLINESS is a means of gain." (1 Timothy 6:5). Every now and then you may receive requests for personal gifts from officials of a charity that you are supporting. Give only if GOD so directs you. You do not want to encourage a self-serving and greedy spirit in such persons. Remember that Gehazi became a leper when he asked gifts from Naaman who was healed by GOD through the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5:1-27). Remember that Balaam was a prophet whose love for money was greater than his love for GOD (Numbers 23, 2 Peter 2:15). Don't yield to pressure or guilt-inducing pleas.

During their early beginnings, smaller charities are often in need of funds to support both the beneficiaries as well as the full-time staff. The Bible tells us, "The labourer deserves his wages." (1 Timothy 5:18). Do specify the reason for your gift - whether you feel led to give to the full-time workers or prefer the donation to be used primarily for the beneficiaries. Take the effort to ask for receipts and in this way help the organizations and their staff maintain financial integrity.

Ask GOD for wisdom

Ask GOD for guidance. Give generously but only when and as GOD directs your heart. The apostle James assures us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask GOD, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him." (James 1:5). Jesus exhorts us to be "wise as serpents". GOD's wisdom will guide us and help us to discern when to give and when to withhold from giving. You are giving to GOD and He will direct and bless your giving!