Archives For fundraising

youre-welcome
A couple of weeks ago I woke up to a Facebook message from someone that I don’t hear from often. There’s a transcript of the conversation:

Friend: Do you need anything?
Me: What do you mean?
Friend: Money?

Let me stop your right there from reading the rest of the conversation. I mean, who wakes up to someone asking them if they need money? That doesn’t happen in real life, right? Well, it did and it happened to me. Ok, keep going…

Me: Well, we are trying to raise 50k to upgrade our elementary environments, invest in chronically hungry kids in Fresno, and hire a second staff member.

I was thinking he was talking about the church, since we’re trying to raise money for our end-of-year giving campaign and expand the work of the church. He responds…

Friend: Nice! Well, I woke up feeling like I needed to give you $300?
Me: Well, I woke up to a crying child and so that brightens the day! LoL
Friend: Haha I should be out of work by 4
Me: Ok, you can also do it through text. Just type WATC to (559) 745-7009. It will ask  you to register a card and then you can text in the amount (300) and it will deduct if rom your account.
Friend: I think it’s cash for you

At this point I was shocked. I thought, “So, you mean to tell me you feel like God is telling you to give me $300 cash, personally… for me? Not for the church?”

Have you ever had an experience like that? No? I wouldn’t expect you to.

Here’s the thing, I met up with him in the Target parking lot. I’m sure it looked like a drug deal to onlookers because we both got out of our cars and he shook my hand with a wad of cash in it and gave me a hug.

I said, “Did God tell you what I was going to do with he cash?”

“No.” He replied.

I thanked him, we chatted and he left.

Imagine the burden to do what is the right thing with this $300. In my family, we have everything budgeted out. We have specific amounts that go to specific categories. We do not frivolously buy anything. We weigh it out because we want to be good stewards of the money God entrusts to us… but for some reason, this $300 weighed extra heavy on us to do the right thing. The problem was, we didn’t know what the right thing was.

So for three days, we prayed about it and one verse kept coming to my mind:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”
Luke 16:10 NIV

At the end of those three days, I reached a decision. We were going to give it to the end-of-year campaign at Two Cities Church.

Not even five minutes after I made that decision I got a text from a church planter in Rohnert Park, CA.

Friend: I just saw something on your Facebook about year-end-giving… did you receive our cashiers check? We mailed it.

I had just been thinking about how we need to be faithful with every little gift and God will entrust us with more. That’s exactly what was happening. Now I realize that they had already sent the check and we would’ve received it either way, but I believe God withheld the information until we made the decision he knew we would make.

Later that day I went to the box and do you know what was in that box? A check for Two Cities Church from Discovery Church in Rohnert Park for $1,000. That’s right one-thousand dollars.

Want to see God do miraculous things in your financial life? Don’t squeeze every penny for yourself. Be generous and willing to share. (1 Timothy 6:18) In fact, when it comes to giving, it’s the only thing God actually says to test him on.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the  Lord  Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Malachi 3:10

You have an opportunity to invest in something amazing, the local church. If you do, I think God might do something miraculous in your own life. Be a part of something amazing. Be a part of funding the church so that we can expand our efforts, reach more people, and feed more hungry kids in the name of Jesus Christ.

How?

watc
4 Simple Ways You Can Give to Our “WeAreTwoCities” end-of-year campaign:

  • Send a check to Two Cities Church
    1865 Herndon Ave K304
    Clovis, Ca 93612
  • Send a Text
    “WATC” to 559.745-7009 and then the amount you’d like to give. Here’s a little video to show you how easy it is.
    https://vimeo.com/111665925
  • Give Online by clicking here
  • In Service
    Drop a check or cash into our offering bucket during a service

Your gifts are tax-deductible and you’ll receive a giving receipt in January.

Thank you for being a part of something amazing, the local church, which is the hope of the world.

givingtuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, a National Day of Giving. Take the #Unselfie challenge by choosing to be generous today. There’s no better way than doing that by giving to Two Cities Church.

“Why should I give to Two Cities Church?”
We’re glad you asked. It’s simple really. We exist to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ because we believe it’s the most important mission in the entire world. Lives and eternities are being changed. 

Here’s a text from someone who just two Sundays ago waived the White Flag and gave their life to Christ: 

“It’s so nice because everyone is soo soo welcoming. They aren’t judging me because I am just now deciding to be a Christian. I always thought I would be judged for that. I am glad that I took a leap of faith and joined Two Cities. BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. HANDS DOWN. :-)))”
Thank you, Two Cities, for being a place that is “soo soo welcoming” and nonjudgmental.

Will you take the #Unselfie challenge today and help us kick start our end-of-year giving goal by contributing to #GivingTuesday?

All you have to do is text “WATC” to 559.745.7009. We’ll text you back a link, you’ll have a 10 second registration and then you can text in any amount you’d like to give.

Be a part of the most important mission in the world, leading people to Jesus.

P.S. You can also give through our traditional online giving. Just click here.

Peach

Feel like you can’t possibly change the world?

There is so much corruption, perversity, injustice, rage, hate, ignorance, and the list goes on… in this world. When I turn on the news all I see is violence, crime, disaster and the like. I was recently talking to a local business owner and we were expressing how we don’t like watching the news because it’s so negative.

But shouldn’t we stay informed?

I hate the news, but at the same time, it’s not the news channel I hate, it’s the stories. Everyone love’s the feel-good, every-day-hero, someone-found-a-cure kind of stories, but those are 1/100. So, in general news seems to be bad news. Ever heard the saying no news is good news? Sometimes I feel like the news outlets have it backwards saying good news is no news.

So what is a Christ-follower supposed to do with the news? Should we listen, read or watch it? Should we burry our heads and only think about the good things in life? Here’s a little bit of perspective from swiss theologian, Karl Barth (1886-1968).

[Barth] recalls that 40 years ago he advised young theologians ‘to take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.

The Time article goes on to give us more of Barth’s thoughts on journalists and their place in the world:

“Newspapers, he says, are so important that ‘I always pray for the sick, the poor, journalists, authorities of the state and the church – in that order. Journalists form public opinion. They hold terribly important positions. Nevertheless, a theologian should never be formed by the world around him – either East or West. He should make his vocation to show both East and West that they can live without a clash. Where the peace of God is proclaimed, there is peace on earth is implicit. Have we forgotten the Christmas message?'” (source)

I think he’s right. I love his belief that peace is a real possibility. Despite the terrible things in this world, it can be accomplished in Christ’s name.

So, what then do we do with the news?

What if, instead of watching the news and being victims of the world around us we decided to do something. What if we did something to make news? What if we were the news makers, not the news watchers? What if we didn’t let the broken nature of our world hold back our efforts to expand the borders of the peaceful kingdom of God?

You have an opportunity to Do Something.

You can make a real difference in the world. Significant difference in the world starts with significantly small efforts. When those small efforts pick up steam by mass involvement is when movements start and I believe we, Fresno and Clovis, are on the cusp of a significantly small movement.

You see, we have bad news here locally. We have elementary-aged kids who don’t eat on the weekends. They are the least of these. Some are homeless, some are transient, some are immigrants, some are the kids of drugs users, dealers or prostitutes. These kids didn’t choose their circumstances, their circumstances were determined by the choices or circumstances of the families they’re born into and many of them don’t have food at home.

The last meal they eat is supplied by the state on Friday’s at lunch, they come back on Monday’s and eat again. That’s not right.

Fresno, let’s do something about it.

You don’t have to do much. Movements are fueled by masses of people doing significantly small things. There’s a movement beginning. It’s called Fill A Belly. For $20 a month, you can help feed two kids from our own backyard every weekend for as long as you give. Fill A Belly is run by a new non-profit in town called Feed our Future Fresno.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Go here and sign up for Fill A Belly, it’s only $20 a month.
    Starting last March, Feed our Future served 75 kids every week at a local Fresno Unified School. Starting this month, they will serve 125 every week and I believe it could easily be 1,000 by next fall with the help of our community. You don’t have to believe in God to know it’s the right thing to do.
    fill a belly slide.001
  2. Come learn more, buy some food, hear some great music and bid on some silent auction items.
    Two Cities Rocks for Feed our Future
    Thursday, Aug 28, starting at 6pm
    Peeve’s Public House
    1243 Fulton Mall
    Fresno, CA 93721
  3. Spread the Word
    Use this Image to help us spread the word about our event. Invite someone to come talk about the organization and their mission at your (fill in the blank).

I don’t care what side of Willow you live on. We are all a part of these two cities and if you claim to follow Jesus you’ve got a responsibility to do something, to contribute, to leave it better than you found it. You may have another way you are contributing, but if you’re not or if you can scrounge an extra $20 a month, together we can start a movement that changes the future our of chronically hungry kids.

Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. – Andy Stanley

#DoSomething.
#WeAreTwoCities.

option-2

What if… That’s one of my favorite phrases because it unlocks my imagination to think about God’s divine potential for my life, our community and the church. Here’s a few “What if…” statements you might resonate with:

  • What if… your teenage son or daughter became a volunteer at Two Cities and began to see God work in his or her life through connecting the dots of children and a relationship with their heavenly father?
  • What if… you could be completely debt free within a few months or years?
  • What if… those feelings of being overwhelmed suddenly stopping ruling your thoughts because your relationships with Jesus Christ and your trust in Him were outgrowing your fears?
  • What if… Two Cities Church was known, among non-church people, in our community as a place where Nobody’s Perfect, Everyone’s Welcome and Anything’s Possible?
  • What if… we believed Jesus when he says, “You are the light of the world” (Matthews 5:14) and we actually lived like it?
  • What if… your husband began to love you like Jesus loves the church, to the point of laying down his life, his preferences, and his way, for you?
  • What if… your wife respected you because of how you love and lead your family in all things, but specifically, spiritually?
  • What if… we stopped reading the Bible in order to check-off a box on our to-do list and started applying what is revealed to us through God’s Word in our lives?

Sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it? It’s not.

We are FOR CLOVIS and FOR FRESNO We want something FOR our cities far more than we want something from them. That goes for you too.

God has a spectacular plan for our communities and I would be doing you a disservice if I did not offer you an opportunity to invest in this Kingdom effort. We have a couple of needs that you have the opportunity to help meet:

  1. During our February monthly glimpse service, we blew a speaker and had an immediate need to replace the speakers, amp, amp rack and cabling. The good thing is that we knew it was on its way out. Replacing this gear cost us $2,147.13. We ordered them on the church credit card because of the immediate need and could not wait for funds to come in. But now we need to pay that back to the credit card. Please consider helping us cover this cost.
  2. In addition, we are looking for people to begin asking the question “What if… we became monthly percentage givers to the mission of the church?” Jesus talks about monthly more than any other subject and there’s a reason. That reason is the same thing we struggle with today… the idol of materialism. Giving does something in us, it frees us. That level of freedom is impossible to know, unless you step out and try it. Trust Him and you’ll see. Our average monthly giver, gives $250 a month. If you already give monthly, consider upping your percentage by 1% and see what happens.

3 Ways to Give

What if God has something better for us than we could ever ask or imagine? I believe He does. Will you join us in our effort to expand the kingdom? Will you give? Will you pray? Will you come? Will you invest? We’ve got a big imagination, but God’s design is bigger. Our vision is huge, but God has something even better than we could ever imagine… and you might just be part of that vision.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Every fall charities across the United States hold fundraising galas to provide for a large chunk of their annual budget. They rely on the generosity of donors who give $10-$10,000 gifts to get them through the holidays and the following year.

As a partner in the Four12 Group (what’s that?), I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work with several of these organizations in helping them develop content, themes, speeches, printed materials, scripts for the “ask” and more. I’m honored to have been able to help them in their fundraising efforts. Watch this CBS47 (Fresno News Station) spot featuring one of these events.

There are dozens of challenges in fundraising gala events, but here are two that we try to address when we work with an organization.

  1. People don’t really know what the organization does.
    For example, people think the Fresno Rescue Mission is a soup kitchen. While they provide meals for people everyday, they are much more than that. They provide services to get people from the street back into mainstream life as a productive and contributing citizen. [Want to know what the Fresno Rescue Mission does? Watch this.]
  2. People know you’re about to ask them for money, so they come in with a predetermined defensive wall.
    They know they are going to be moved to give, but they don’t want to give away the farm, and they shouldn’t. But they can probably give more than they think they can. Helping them to take down their defensive wall can help with that.

The following video was written and produced by the Four12 Group with the help of some actors and volunteers from Clovis Hills Community Church. It was intended to help facilitate the lightening-up of the crowd. It was shot with british-humor and it was created for the Fresno Rescue Mission’s annual fundraising gala. It’s quite fancy.

If you are involved with an organization that puts on a fancy fundraising gala, we purposely made this video generic enough for you to use. Please inquire by emailing services@four12group.com.

Fresno Rescue Mission

January 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

Fresno Rescue Mission - Four12 Group
For the past two years the Four12 Group (What’s that?), has had the opportunity to work with the Fresno Rescue Mission on their annual fundraising gala. We’ve helped them create videos, program their evening, run certain aspects of the event and witness amazing stories of life change. The work they are doing in our community is incredible. The staff is genuine, their services are effective and it’s a great place to volunteer and give to support their mission. This past fall we shot and produced a video that helps inform people about what the FRM actually does. Most people would know about one or two of their services, but Rob Cravy, COO says it best.

What the rescue mission provides is generational change. We have the ability with all the services that we provide to give life change, not only to the ricky-rescue that is here today. But the family that he’s directly affecting when he gets home.

Watch the full video we created here:

We love our two cities (Fresno/Clovis) and we want to help local organizations maximize their story-telling capabilities. If you work with a great organization, let’s talk. First, I’d love to feature what you do on this blog and I’d love to see how Four12 can help you tell your unique story. Contact the Four12 Group here.

You may also like our videos from the 2012 Fresno Rescue Mission fundraising gala.