This week’s posts are probably, no definitely, the most difficult and embarrassing I’ve ever done. These upcoming posts are my authentic and dead honest plea for help. I don’t know any other way to communicate what I’m about to say other than to be as blunt as I can. Man, I’m sweating just writing this. Here we go …
The Marin Foundation needs money or there might no longer be The Marin Foundation.
This is my fault. I’ve never really asked anyone for money before. That’s a very strange thought, especially in light of the fact that I run a non-profit, but I did so because:
I never wanted my work or my job to be focused on or about money.
I never wanted anyone to be able to accuse me of doing this just for money.
I never wanted anyone to look at The Marin Foundation and say, “it only worked because you had lots of money and everything was given to you”.
So I just never really asked anyone for it to overcompensate in the other direction to prove where my heart is. In fact (and just because you can’t see me writing this I’ll let you know that I’m bawling my eyes out like a little baby right now) I’ll never forget the first night after I quit my well paying, very comfy job at the world famous Drake Hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago to start The Marin Foundation. I was in the shower praying, crying, saying to the Lord:
“Lord, don’t you ever make this easy. I don’t ever want anyone to look at what You created with The Marin Foundation and say that it happened because everything was just handed to me. Because when your bridge building work happens, because I know it will explode into a Movement no matter who doesn’t believe or is scared to get invovled, I want everyone, in both communities, secular and religious, to know that it only happened because You made it happen. Praise you Father.”
I had no idea of the impact of that prayer—and the flooding amount of future tears that would be caused because of it. That prayer in the shower was the most intense moment of my life to this point, and five years later I still don’t know how to wrap my head around why my Spirit was pouring out those thoughts that night. I kind of laugh to myself now, because I wish I wouldn’t have prayed that—life would have been (and continue to be) a lot easier if things/money were just given freely to The Marin Foundation. Nope. That’s not how it works. That’s my fault.
I was just trying to do the right thing; setting up my life for the long-haul doing the Lord’s work in the right fashion. And with every ounce of my being, I know I did the right thing. I know The Marin Foundation has been set up in the right, Christ-filled fashion that for the last five years has existed on virtually nothing. The Lord has given me personally, and my organization, a way bigger voice, exposure and national responsibility throughout mainstream (religious and secular) culture than our funding should ever allow us to have. I don’t even know the lives that have been impacted because of it—only the ones that have written, emailed or called to say something. And those tens of thousands that I have received over the years have left me content in the impact that this bridge building work has had. That’s the strange part to me; I’ve never been content with anything. Even when I was playing Division I baseball, on the verge of getting drafted to play in the MLB (Major League Baseball) before my career ending injury, I wasn’t content. Yet today I am broke, my organization is slowly financially dripping into barely surviving, and I am totally content knowing that I have done everything the Lord has asked of me. I’ve gone everywhere He’s sent me. I’ve said ‘yes’ to every single speaking/training/teaching request ever sent my way. I’ve given everything I had—financially, materialistically, emotionally, spiritually, physically—and here I am now. The only thing I’ve never done is ask for money. So here it is:
I am pleading for you to be bold enough to give—because literally, The Marin Foundation will not be able to continue. There is a button on the right sidebar that says Donate to The Marin Foundation. 100% of the money donated through that button is tax deductible and goes directly to The Marin Foundation. Please help us continue making such an impact for the Kingdom of God here on earth in the midst of two diametrically opposed communities that by no other means would there ever be a Christ-centered bridge built. I know it’s so much easier to give to AIDS infected and starving mothers and children in Africa. I know it’s so much easier to give to under-resourced communities in the ‘ghetto’. I know it’s so much easier to give to so many other “normal” things to give towards. But this bridge building work is no less important as all those others, even though many don’t see it like that.
I just want to dump everything into this one post and get it all over with, but it would be so long no one would read it. So what I’m going to do is break everything up into shorter posts throughout the course of the week to thoroughly put everything out there to be totally up front, hiding nothing! Please give.
If you would like to keep updated with the work and needs of The Marin Foundation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us your address if you prefer a hard-copy and we’ll add you to our bi-monthly mailing list. Here is the remaining schedule for this series:
Part 2: The Marin Foundation’s Unique Positioning Making a Tangible Impact
Part 3: The Marin Foundation’s Back Story (Part 1)
Part 3 Cont: The Marin Foundation’s Back Story (Part 2)
Part 4: All of The Marin Foundation’s Tax Return Info Made Public since The Marin Foundation’s 1st Year of Existence
Part 5: The Marin Foundation’s 2010 Budget
Part 6: Videos of Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne urging you to give to The Marin Foundation, along with my Fundraising Plan for 2010 (which already includes 100% of book sales and speaking honorariums going directly to The Marin Foundation, which the standard is to personally take those)
Part 7: If Not The Marin Foundation, Than Who?
Please spread the word to all you know who have been impacted by The Marin Foundation or Love is an Orientation.
As always: Much love.