Being All Non-Profity & Stuff

Two years ago this month I was struggling with a flurry of paperwork to make The 25 Group go from a crazy idea to a legal entity. All sorts of elbow grease went into it — if you’ve ever done a startup you know the drill. We needed a board and by-laws, a mailing address and website, an accountant and a marketing strategy.

All I wanted to do was leverage the wealth that I saw in the American church for Kingdom work all over the world. We had sold our house and used some of the money to get going. It was a big step, a leap of faith. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

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Now, two years in, I honestly can’t believe what’s transpired.

  • Over 300 people have trusted us with some of their money. A few folks have entrusted us with a lot of their money.
  • We’ve raised over $100,000 to date.
  • In our first year, we gave away $54,200
  • If we meet our goal this year, we’ll give away nearly $80,000 (and even if we don’t, we’ll still out-churn last year in terms of both donations received and donations given)
  • Our work — our donor’s work, really — has benefitted folks on three continents and seven countries.
  • We’ve funded the construction of a school/community/church building in India, the operation of a nutrition center in the Dominican Republic, micro-loans and child sponsorships in sub-Saharan Africa, ISIS relief in Iraq, as well as prison ministries and Indian reservation outreach in the United States — and more.

Two years ago we didn’t exist.

God has been good, but this thing is messy. I don’t really know what I’m doing. But zeal for a cause can outrun fears and borderline incompetence. Still, we’re learning.

Our world headquarters is a mailbox in a postage shop in a strip mall on the way to my full-time gig as a student pastor at a church. Our corporate records binder is filed away nicely — on my night stand by my bed. We have zero paid employees, an accountant who charges us nothing, and volunteers that do our taxes and give me advice when my capabilities hit a brick wall.

Communication is tough, as it happens almost entirely online and is hit-and-miss. If you don’t happen to scroll by it, you don’t see it. There’s a fine line between being thorough and being annoying. “Hey! Let us annoy you with constant posting until you finally give or unfollow us!” It’s a game of non-profit chicken. Who will budge first?

In fact, I don’t write about our non-profit on this blog a ton any more for that very reason. But, if you are interested, here are a few ways you can stay in the loop:

  • We will launch 25 videos in 25 days on Sunday, November 15th. These will be 2-3 minute long and give you insight as to who we are, why we do what we do, and how you can join with us
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • E-Mail Tiphani to receive our e-news. After trying to send updates once a month, we are shifting to a quarterly strategy. The first one will hit your inbox in January.

Despite the challenges, we are growing as an organization. We have e-mail addresses now! We have an online store coming soon that will offer some great products, including some The 25 Group apparel. The word is spreading about our work. Each baby step is celebrated. It’s fun stuff, watching this thing grow.

I am so grateful for all God has done through generous people like you. It is pretty incredible to think back to two years ago when the idea of starting The 25 Group was nothing but a brainstorm between my wife and I. Thanks for joining with us to make it happen!

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