The nonprofit I co-founded celebrated its first birthday recently.
Our first 365 days saw over $73,000 raised and five projects in three countries funded in full. We’ve got a little money poised and ready to be given away already in 2015. But this blog is about our next 365 days.
The 25 Group is a nonprofit community more than it is an organization. Over 200 people have donated to our work, and more than 50 do so on a monthly basis. We’re about real people practicing real generosity so that real transformation can take place. And taking place it is — in India and the Dominican Republic and Iraq. We use a crowd-funding strategy to raise money (most folks give about $25/month) and then make capital gifts to organizations who are feeding the hungry, providing water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, helping the sick, welcoming the stranger, and visiting those in prison.
In 2015, we’re biting off one project at a time — one per quarter — and I’m excited to let you know what those are:
Of the six things mentioned in Matthew 25, people get the least excited about helping those in prison. But A.R.M has a unique opportunity to provide Bible studies to inmates who are searching for truth, purpose, forgiveness, and hope. Not only do they provide resources, they also foster relationships. I know their leadership well and trust them immensely. They reached out to us for assistance, and we’re happy to provide it.
SECOND QUARTER (Apr-June): Under the Same Tree
Of the four projects selected for this calendar year, this one may best represent the heartbeat of why we began. Under the Same Tree is the calling of a young midwestern couple who have successfully forged a relationship with a church in Uganda. Their new partnership with local leaders has led to a fantastic vision for how the church in American can help resource the church in Africa to see community development, discipleship, and mutual transformation take place. They just need some help getting started. That’s why we’re here.
THIRD QUARTER (July-Sep): Rapha House
Human trafficking is a devastating crisis that is far too common. Rapha House has successfully provided care for those rescued from trafficking in Cambodia for more than a decade. We are coming alongside to help them start a new work in Haiti and are eager to see that new ministry location grow.
FOURTH QUARTER (Oct-Dec): Diamond Willow Ministries
Diamond Willow is located on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in rural South Dakota. Their work is carried out in the poorest county in the United States, where hunger and alcoholism and other issues plague their community. Yet Diamond Willow shines bright and points people toward Jesus — caring for kids and teenagers and adults alike through creative, substantial means.
At the same time that we do all this, we’re continuing our partnership with a nutrition center in Los Perez, Dominican Republic, that is feeding about 70 kids each day, six days a week. We forged this relationship at the start of our work last January, and we are looking forward to continuing it on a monthly basis.
Additionally, we hope to be more involved locally in the United States. We will be involved in the same kind of work — caring for our world’s most marginalized people — in the cities of Houston, Texas and Saint Louis, Missouri in 2015 through partner organizations in those communities.
In all, we hope to raise more than $100,000 in 2015.
If you’re excited as we are, you can join with us as a $25/month giver. We also are linking arms with small business owners, musicians, and more. We’re grateful for every donor, regardless of amount. Your gifts are put to good use, with over 95% of all money going straight to needs all over the world.
You can also watch for our monthly updates, every month on the 25th.
Thanks for giving!