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July/August response: The Vision of a Gift

National Mission Institutions provide an example of stepping out in faith.

by Shannon Priddy

We have a vision that is amazing and exciting. We are inviting you to invest yourself through the resources that God has given you—your energy, your prayers, and your money—in this work to which God has called us.

— Henri Nouwen, A Spirituality of Fundraisin
Shannon Priddy
Shannon Priddy

As a member of United Women in Faith and a faithful Christian, I believe that giving is an important part of the ministries in which I participate. Part of ministry and faith is putting money in the places it will do what I cannot. United Women in Faith’s 154-year legacy began with eight bold women determined to change the world for the better. This organization stands ready not only to continue our legacy, but to forge courageous new paths. United Women in Faith will go wherever we are needed, without hesitation, because the needs are great but our power, our resolve, and our faith are even greater.

Any great change begins with a single step, a decision. United Women in Faith has 88 National Mission Institutions around the United States. NMIs are community centers, colleges, and residences providing vital services in vulnerable communities—empowering women, caring for children, supporting seniors, educating youth, providing housing for domestic violence survivors, and offering residences for special needs children and youth. Many started with a single commitment, a dream, and then a plan to make it happen. NMIs are the working example today of what used to be a first step out in faith.

My first decision each year is a budget. I review it each month or each payday or when planning a big purchase. I include savings and special set-asides to make sure I meet my financial commitments. What does your budget include? Where does United Women in Faith fit in your budget? My investment in the Legacy Endowment Fund is a big purchase that I incorporate into my budget. Planned gifts or a pledge for a major gift are big purchases. I can set aside a small amount each month to make a big gift at one time. Like any big purchase, a planned gift or a major gift adds to your life. It is a reminder to invest in the future. You decide what is important by where you put your gifts.

Giving a major gift or committing to a pledged major gift feels good because giving provides a sense of meaning and purpose. It shows faith and commitment to this organization 150 years from now. Friends of Legacy gifts are gifts of $5,000 or more to the Legacy Endowment Fund and can be paid all at once or paid over a 3-to-5-year commitment. A pledge to the Legacy Endowment Fund is a gift to the future women of United Women in Faith.

Your gift to the Legacy Endowment Fund is joined together with the generous gifts of others for the future work of United Women in Faith. Your mission giving combines to do the current work of United Women in Faith. When you make your pledge to mission or you give at your monthly meeting or you add an additional fundraiser for your unit’s pledge, you make a gift that reaches women, youth, and children today. You make the work of today possible with each dollar given in mission.

I may not create an NMI in my lifetime. However, my pledge to the Legacy Endowment Fund and United Women in Faith is a foundation of a bigger goal, a bigger vision. My gift is my vision for a better world for women, youth, and children today and tomorrow. Our foremothers built their legacy as they built this organization. It is time to build ours. God loveth a cheerful giver. 

Shannon Priddy is the executive for Development and Donor Relations at United Women in Faith.

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