Over 45 years old now, the Institute for Creation Research has grown in many ways. God always supplies each need, month by month, as individuals respond to occasional appeals and regular updates in Acts & Facts. All of us at ICR are tremendously grateful for those who support our work, and we are prayerfully confident that, Lord willing, present levels of giving will continue. However, key research initiatives and major projects do not happen without large gifts to underwrite them. Quite simply, significant gifts often make “bigger” ministry possible.
Our own history bears witness to this. Substantial gifts enabled vital research projects, such as ICR’s landmark RATE initiative several years ago, to finish crucial phases that likely would not otherwise have been attempted. They made two major moves possible, the first into our very own facility in 1980 after sharing space with Christian Heritage College (now San Diego Christian) for 10 years, and the second in 2007 to our current three-building campus in Dallas. In California, the gifts funded new office construction and heavily underwrote our first museum. In Dallas, they allowed ICR to hire key personnel, make much-needed renovations to our facilities, and acquire adjacent property for future growth. This stream of significant gifts helped make ICR a better and more effective ministry for God.
I have written in the past cautioning against the big-gift mentality of some organizations, so please do not misunderstand my point. Smaller gifts are utterly vital to maintain ICR’s ministry, and the Lord has graciously met every need through many faithful supporters. Furthermore, ICR remains debt free as a testament to our co-laborers and our desire to be the best stewards of the funds God has granted to us. But we would be foolish to ignore the impact that significant gifts have made on our ministry in the past—and could make in the future. Frankly, large gifts are often the missing ingredient needed to unleash the full potential of capabilities that lie dormant from lack of adequate financial support.
To put this in perspective, consider the following: Over the last 10 years, ICR has received approximately 500,000 gifts from a yearly average of 21,500 donors. Of these, only 125 gifts—less than 0.03%—were valued at $25,000 or more, and roughly half of these large gifts came from estates and will bequests of long-time supporters after their home-going. Because of ICR’s purposefully low-key fundraising approach, nearly all of these substantial gifts were unsolicited and came as a complete surprise to our ministry. God has been good to ICR, often supplying a critical gift just when we needed it most. But we must do better if we are to fully utilize the unique talents and capabilities the Lord has marshalled at ICR.
As my father’s article this month so amply demonstrates, the battle has grown fierce within the evangelical world as well-funded, quasi-Christian organizations engage in church and seminary campaigns that dispute, devalue, and disparage the very foundation of Scripture. ICR has the scientific muscle, intellectual prowess, and biblical commitment to effectively combat these threats, but not without considerable help to fully develop current initiatives and launch new ones.
ICR research sits on the cusp of great gains in innovative projects that blow old-earth arguments away. ICR media looks to build on the great success of That’s a Fact and Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis with exciting new high-quality video resources that appeal to the next generation—the Made in His Image DVD series is in the works for 2015! 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.