Gifts That Move Ministry
by Henry M. Morris IV *
The Institute for Creation Research has grown tremendously since its inception over 46 years ago. As the first full-time organization dedicated to creation science research, the financial support of our ministry was quite lean during the early years. But month after month, God faithfully supplied each need as fellow believers responded to occasional appeals and updates in Acts & Facts. Today, everyone at ICR shares my sense of profound gratitude for our financial partners who labor with us in this international ministry. Lord willing, we are prayerfully confident that present levels of support will continue.
That said, key research initiatives and major projects rarely move forward without large gifts to underwrite them. Significant gifts make more expansive ministry possible, and ICR’s own history bears witness to this. Major gifts have been vital to research projects such as ICR’s landmark RATE initiative a decade ago. They also made two major location moves possible, the first into our very own facility in 1980 after sharing space with Christian Heritage College (now San Diego Christian College) for 10 years, and the second in 2007 to our current three-building campus in Dallas. In California, large gifts funded new office construction and heavily underwrote our first museum. In Dallas, they enabled ICR to hire key personnel, make much-needed renovations to our facilities, and purchase adjacent property for future growth. These significant gifts helped make ICR a better, stronger, and more effective ministry for God.
Yet, the big-gift mentality of some organizations can lead to very real dangers, so please do not misunderstand my point here. Smaller gifts are absolutely essential to ICR’s ministry, and the Lord has used these gifts to graciously meet every need. Furthermore, ICR remains debt-free as a testament to our faithful supporters and our desire to be the best stewards of the funds God has granted to us. But it would be disingenuous to ignore the impact that significant gifts have made in the past—and could make in the future. Frankly, large gifts are often the missing ingredient needed to unleash the full potential of ICR capabilities.
To place this in perspective, consider the following. Over the last decade, ICR received approximately 533,000 gifts from an average of 22,000 donors each year. Of these, only 149 gifts—less than 0.03%—were valued at $25,000 or more, and roughly a third of these large gifts came from estates of long-time supporters after their home-going. Because of ICR’s low-key fundraising approach, most of these substantial gifts were unsolicited and came as a complete surprise to our ministry, often arriving at critical times just when we needed it most. God has been good to us, but we must do better if we are to fully utilize the unique talents and capabilities He has marshaled at ICR.
As the recent political season so amply demonstrated, the battle has escalated to new heights. Our Adversary is “roaring” like never before, and an entire generation is growing up in a world beset by amoral cultural “norms” that dispute, devalue, and disparage the very essence of scriptural doctrine. ICR has the scientific muscle, intellectual prowess, and biblical commitment to effectively combat these threats, but not without considerable help from God’s people to fully develop current initiatives.
ICR’s newest initiative, the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History, is poised to advance the cause of our Creator through the public display of scientific evidence that confirms the Bible is right and its message is true. We can reach the coming generations with evidence that blows evolutionary arguments away, but only if God’s people help us move the ministry forward in 2017. If there was ever a time to help ICR with a gift of significance, now is that time. Pray for us, and please help if you are able.
*Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Henry M. Morris IV. 2017. Gifts That Move Ministry. Acts & Facts. 46 (1).