Success or Failure?
It is always hard to raise money. It is harder yet to encourage people to give to something they don't see and many not understand. But when an organization like the USCWM, newly established and without long years of public relations contact, limits itself to asking for one-time $15.95 gifts--it seems pure folly! So much so that last spring at a national gathering of evangelicals, the USCWM technique was help up as one of the worst ways to raise funds.
It would seem, in December, that all those critics were right. A major deadline has come and gone, and still the money is not all in. And yet, there is another way of looking at the facts.
It is true that with a one-time gift approach, there can be no dependence on mailing lists--at least not for more funds. It's as if the Center is constantly starting from scratch. And that's hard!
But that's not entirely the case. By now 17,000 people have become acquainted with the Center and its purposes, and are not only praying for its success but are passing on its literature. The grapevine approach is working.
People in Phoenix first heard about the Center through a tourist from Cincinnati who left a Jericho book. It eventually came into the hands of two pastors who mobilized their churches to give and to pray.
Another pastor, in Minneapolis, was skeptical at first. After hearing Dr. Winter speak he was so convinced that this project was of God that he preached on the Hidden People for two Sundays straight. He printed up a check with the Center's name on it and urged his congregation to become founders. One hundred and eighty-three responded.
Mission Aviation Fellowship asked their most faithful backers to each give the Center a onetime $15.95 gift. Over 600 responded. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade did likewise, and to date 331 have given.
It is most unusual in this day and age to see a grapevine system working for good rather than for gossip. It is even more unusual to see one organization raising funds for another. Yet this is happening. Maybe the fund raisers are right! The deadline wasn't quite met. But maybe they are also seeing something new. The grapevine is growing--and producing fruit!