Thanks to the generosity of United Methodists around the world, more than 880 projects and missionaries will receive a financial boost to help them meet their mission goals. The denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries announced that the first-ever UMC #GivingTuesday generated a record $6.5 million online on December 3. Nearly 11,000 donors in 34 countries gave more than 16,300 gifts through The Advance to mission and ministries they believe in. Global Ministries matched the first $500,000 received.
Building on the recent US shopping traditions of Black Friday, Local Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, UMC #GivingTuesday offered an opportunity to start the holiday season by giving instead of getting, while supporting organizations that are transforming the world.
“We were overwhelmed by this giving that went far beyond our dreams,” said Thomas Kemper, the head of Global Ministries. “The people called Methodists once again have exceeded themselves in love and solidarity.”
Noting the extensive number of Advance projects and that “100% goes to mission,” donor Ann Bosson Greenberg wrote in a Facebook post, “I am so happy to be a Methodist Christian!” Greenberg shared that she had made a gift to Alternative Rite of Passage, an organization that is working to eliminate female circumcision in Kenya.
The Advance is The United Methodist Church’s giving channel which ensures that 100 percent of each gift supports the project designated by the donor; it is a link that connects the church in mission. The Advance encompasses more than 850 Methodist-related projects and more than 300 missionaries, all of them reviewed and monitored by Global Ministries staff.
Kemper said, “By promoting UMC Giving Tuesday, conferences and local churches significantly helped educate their members about The Advance—a giving channel that would not be possible without apportionments to cover administrative costs.” He added, “Having matching funds available not only directly benefited the projects, but helped build momentum for the campaign.”
One ministry supported through The Advance is The Appalachia Service Project. As he thanked supporters, Walter Crouch, who leads the organization, said, “The Advance is a blessing. Our mission of making the homes of low-income families in Appalachia warmer, safer, and drier depends on consistent, reliable financial support. The Advance provides just that.”
A final accounting of the distribution of gifts will be available by December 16. Kemper thanked the staff who connected Global Ministries with the national #GivingTuesday campaign, helped promote the event, and made it technically possible to process more than $6.5 million online. He hopes that UMC #GivingTuesday raised awareness about the impact that United Methodists have in the lives of people served by Advance projects. “While Giving Tuesday is just one day, these ministries are transforming the world all year around,” he said.
Gifts to support Advance projects and the missionary community can be made online at any time at www.umcmission.org/give.