Part 1: I Need Help

The Overview

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 Foundatioarrown.

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:

The Marin Foundation needs money. Please help us continue this bridge building work that so many other families, people, churches, universities and organizations run far and fast from. So so so many have taken the easy way out all of these years, and The Marin Foundation has promised to always run towards the places so many others are running from—especially those running who claim their Christianity. We’ve started this Movement with nothing other than a vision and a commitment to see it through. Now to continue moving it forward it actually needs financial help.

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 info@themarinfoundation.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.

www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • http://mattnightingale.blogspot.com Matt Nightingale

    God is in this, brother… Hang in there. Thanks for sharing your needs.

  • Mrs T

    We’re all pulling for you & many will be praying. God has all the riches; He moves them around in His will. So there is plenty out there.
    OK, who has housing to donate? That’s the most expensive thing.
    Food? Jerry’s in Niles has the cheapest produce. Friends can invite you over for a hot meal which saves you time as well as money.

    I started this just to encourage Andrew, but now I’m making it a challenge for us locals to give things as well as money. I don’t have much spare change now, but this would be my fave charity. Some of you might be able to give. I hate wasting food, but it is so common in this city. Maybe some of you can be more careful when you shop & cook & pass along the extra to the Marins…
    When you find a super bargain of a useful household product, get an extra one for them. How about a CTA pass which saves lots of money?
    Other ideas, friends?

  • http://beth0329.blogspot.com/ Bethany C

    Wow, God is crazy! I got a new job and started last Monday. I had been praying about who and what ministries (besides my church) that God wanted me to give to. I am only in a part time job (15-20 hours/week) but I know that all that I get is from the Lord and it’s not mine to keep. I always read your updates and pray for your work as often as I can and am constantly thinking of ways to apply your message to my own life and my own relationships with other Christians and the world. So, I feel quite invested into what The Marin Foundation is doing. I hope that sounds how I want it to; and that is that I LOVE what you’re doing, I believe that God is right in the midst of it and that you are a Spirit-filled man of God who is opening people’s eyes to the truth of what LOVE can truly do to people for the Kingdom. Okay, no more rambling. Just yesterday as I was reading your latest blog I decided that I would give to The Foundation, assuming that you had always needed funding. And then, lo and behold you write this blog today! As soon as I get my first check I am committing here and now to donating as much money as possible (sometimes that may be $5) to your work! I am praying for you Andrew.

  • Andrew I

    I am praying for you too, brother.

  • Peggy Whitmer

    Dear Andrew,
    I am a friend of the Piercy family in Champaign. We have a small group studying your book which we have found insightful and inspiring. I have so much to talk to you about. Would you be willing to speak to a muti-church gathering if we could get one organized in Champaign? God is moving here in exciting ways and I wanted you to know that you have been a part of that. More to follow put please be encouraged. God is worthy of our trust.
    Gratefully,
    Peggy Whitmer

  • Bryan

    We don’t have a lot leftover this Christmas and have already committed to giving to Compassion for some children who aren’t sponsored yet, but I gave what little I could. I hope it helps some.

  • Kevin

    Peggy- Could you send an email to speaking@themarinfoundation.org and we can start discussing the possibility of bringing Andrew to Champaign for a speaking engagement. Thanks

  • Person

    Andrew, Andrew, Andrew… if I could give you a hug right now, I would. As I can’t, I’ll just write this.

    You don’t know me because I’m a lurker mostly, but I’ve been following you very closely. Who I am is the gay son of missionary parents and it’s people who do work like the work you are doing that kept me from destroying my life during my turbulent adolescent years. As such, you are a hero of mine. But now, I feel I must share with you something that I have learned from watching my parents’ ministry and I hope that this helps you.

    NEVER BE ASHAMED OF ASKING PEOPLE FOR MONEY TO SUPPORT YOUR MINISTRY.

    Considering you are running a non-profit organization and since you are doing the Lord’s work, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking people to support you financially. Nothing. God works through people does he not? I assure you, whenever we receive money from a supporter, we always give thanks to God even if we know that we asked them for it. It’s like when we give thanks to God for lunch, even when we know our mom made it, we even saw her do it – we still give thanks to God anyway. It’s not like God is no longer at work if you ask for the money.

    Rom. 15:23-24
    23But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, 24I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.

    Note this phrase “to have you assist me on my journey there”. What does that mean? It refers to them giving him donations, whether financial or otherwise, but either way it amounts to the same thing as Paul asking his followers for money. Paul had a vision to go to Spain and he asked the Roman church to support him financially. Nothing is wrong with that.

    Do not be so proud as to believe that your ministry is somehow superior if you don’t ask for money – you do not get bonus points. Churches ask for money all the time – it’s called taking an offering. Missionaries ask for money all the time – it’s called monthly partnership. Now unless you’re George Muller, which I don’t believe you are, I don’t see why you believe you should be exempt. So my message for you Andrew – do not be ashamed.

    Oh and by the way, I don’t have money to give since I live on the other side of the world, but if I did I’d give it to you. Keep the faith Andrew and don’t be ashamed of your ministry, even in the times when it makes you ask for money. :) Brotherly love, Andrew.

  • Adam

    Andrew,
    I am a youth minister in Naperville. We met last year at YS in Nashville (I don’t expect you to remember, it was just a brief meeting). I have many kids in my group that go to Neuqua Valley High School. Some of our kids spent a weekend at JPUSA in October and during that time, did a prayer walk through Boys Town. Next week we’ll be kicking off a study in our youth group coming from your book. At the risk of coming across as a stalker, I say all that really to say that even though I don’t know you, I feel greatly invested in and passionate about your work. I’ve given what I can for now (the youth minister salary doesn’t give me a tons of extra spending money) and will continue to do so. What you’re doing is important and is bringing the hope of Shalom to a part of God’s Kingdom that desperately needs it. I’m glad you asked for money. I’ll pass this along to as many as I can. “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    All non-profits (religious or secular) need to take time regularly to ask for financial support. As someone who regularly participates in your chats and with your website, I will gladly commit to an ongoing donation to help keep you going. Hopefully, others will do likewise. Thanks for all you do, Andrew. :)

  • http://alifeofunlearning.blogspot.com/ Anthony Venn-Brown

    This is not an uncommon problem Andrew. We do what we do because it is important and we feel God’s calling. We have been told that where God guides he also provides. Sometimes I’ve found this to be the case other times not. I’ve faced the same situation for the last four years myself. The struggle can be endless.

    I’m sure you have good people around you who can take up the cause for you so you can concentrate on the things you do so well. I hope so. If they are not stepping up to the plate…..get people who will do it for you and are not afraid of asking for financial support.

    At this stage I can do nothing more unfortunately than say i’m standing with you in spirit.

    May this problem be solved for us all who have given our time, talents, energies and experience to making a difference to LGBT people in the world…..and particularly the church.

    Anthony Venn-Brown
    An ambassador for the LGBT community.

  • http://twitter.com/michaeldaniel Mike Fraser

    Andy,
    After reading these posts, my mind has been racing through any way to get you some financial help.

    Other than donating myself and getting others to donate, all I can think of are these various organizations that offer money/funding to people with a cause and enough votes/support to deserve the money.
    ideablob.com was a really big one but they’ve since ended what they do. They seemed to have alot of winning ideas and causes that weren’t “normal” or “traditional” causes like poverty, etc.
    I don’t know if these would be too much effort to do or if you even would consider following through with any of these, but I guess it’s worth looking into.

    I’ll continue to be praying for you Andy

    take a look at these organizations
    http://www.ashoka.org
    http://www.socialedge.org
    http://www.changemakers.com/


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