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Tuesday, 20 November 2018
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Heartbeat International team members with recipients of the twenty $5,000 grants presented at Pregnancy Help Institute this summer Heartbeat International team members with recipients of the twenty $5,000 grants presented at Pregnancy Help Institute this summer Photo Courtesy: Heartbeat International

Pregnancy Centers: A Financial Force to be Reckoned With

Full disclosure: If 39 years in the Christian community and 38 ½ years in the life-affirming community (by the way, these numbers overlap quite nicely) taught me something, it is that money is not an automatic indicator of success. 

While provision can be an indicator of God’s favor, we would be mistaken to look at money as absolute confirmation that God is working through us. After all, Planned Parenthood receives nearly $600 million each year in government funds. Their executives garner salaries which would embarrass those of us who serve in pregnancy help organizations. No, money isn’t everything.

Yet, I’m captured by two stories this week in Pregnancy Help News. One which I had the joy of witnessing tells of 20 pregnancy help ministries receiving $5,000 grants at this year’s Pregnancy Help Institute in Columbus, Ohio. I was there. Saw the tears of thankfulness. Heard the stories of ministries almost down to their last dollar and how this unexpected gift would see them through—at just the right time.

No one accuses me of being a math whiz, but $100,000 is a lot of money to give away. Yet an anonymous donor chose to do this to bless pregnancy help ministries. And by the way, the grant recipients all received scholarship funding—from the same donor—to attend in the first place. 

The other story tells of Life Launch, a matching grant initiative for start-up pregnancy centers in currently under-served areas. Again, a donor who believes in this work is providing the funding—$30,000 per start-up—to create a new wave of pregnancy help ministries.

Money isn’t everything, but these two stories tell us something we can’t overlook. Twenty years ago, these stories were almost unheard of. Just ten years ago, these stories were extremely rare and almost beyond reach for the pregnancy help community.

This week, these stories ran on consecutive days. While investments like these are not daily occurrences, talking about twenty $5,000 grants and then even more $30,000 grants is becoming more common. And these gifts are going straight to pregnancy help organizations.

The bottom line is, the Christian community sees our work and is catching on to its importance and value. While we once scratched and clawed for every dollar (okay, this hasn’t entirely disappeared), we’re seeing many more major donors jump on board and say, “What do you need?” 

Tweet This: "The Christian community sees our work and is catching on to its importance and value." #prolife @KirkWalden

We’re in a different realm. No longer should any of us be afraid of a big vision. And if we have a big vision for changing the culture in our community, we shouldn’t fret over reaching out to those who can fund a major portion of that vision.

Sure, Planned Parenthood still enjoys the support of Big Hollywood and taps corporations which are more concerned with the abortion giant’s shakedown tactics than with those who buy their products. Yet we’ve always had the support of regular people in mainstream America, and more and more, those with large financial resources see the value of what we do.

Recently, I was visiting a pregnancy center and the name of one of the community’s famous athletes, now retired and back in town, came up. His net worth is estimated at $50 million. Not long ago he spent an afternoon clearing brush in the ministry’s prayer garden in the back of its building. He sees the value. I didn’t ask about his donations, but one would think his family’s giving will soon follow suit.

He’s not alone. Almost everywhere I go these days, I’m running into major donors who might not have given much thought to a pregnancy help ministry ten or twenty years ago. But now? Our ministries are a key component of their giving plans.

So, while Planned Parenthood counts its federal funding and trumpets donations from Broadway and Hollywood, our train of support picks up steam. It’s a new day, and we can be thankful.

No, money is not always an indicator of God’s blessing. But for pregnancy help ministries, our growing support base tells us we’re headed in the right direction. Today is a great time for all of us to expand our vision, and connect more of our friends—regardless of the size of their bank accounts—to our powerful work.

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Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. He also blogs at www.kirkwalden.com. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter (@KirkWalden) and he is a new Instagrammer (kirkwalden). For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau.

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