Christian charity means giving without thought of return - at least in this world! Throughout the Bible, we are reminded of the importance of offering Christian charity by helping the needy. Jesus said: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Matthew 19:21, NIV).
It is just as important that Christian nonprofits themselves exist only for the charitable benefit of those in real need. It would be against the Christian ethos to see donations for a nonprofit charity sidetracked to profit shareholders or to pay excessive administration costs. Nonprofits are the aim and model of Christian giving for the purpose of charity.
Major Christian nonprofits use every cent possible for the good of those they have pledged to help through charity. The nonprofits do this by keeping costs to a minimum. One particularly respected, model charity, which has sponsorship programs in many of the world's poorest countries, spends only 18.3 percent of its income on fundraising and administration. The rest goes to the purposes of the charity - the care, welfare and development of the children in its programs.
This nonprofit's sponsorship programs are a model example of Christian charity in action. The nonprofit's programs transform a child's life in the most simple but effective way. A kind sponsor agrees to pay a few dollars a month for the care of an individual child in the countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America or the Caribbean. This money ensures that the selected child receives:
*clean safe water to drink
*education leading to future job training
*the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ and the Gospels
The sponsor and child are also encouraged by the nonprofit to build a loving friendship through letters, photographs, small gifts, and even perhaps a visit to the child's community. The sponsor has the satisfaction of knowing that the nonprofit is a true model of Christian charity because almost all of the monthly contribution sent for the child is spent on the child rather than on administrative costs.
The nonprofits ethos is vital to the spirit of Christian charity, but there are other key factors. Is the nonprofit a true model? Is the charity effective? Are its aims truly Christian? Will the nonprofit's benefits be to the lasting good of those it seeks to help? The best Christian charities are committed to the highest professional nonprofit principles, serving others with true charity, honesty and integrity.