Dear WORLD members,
This year I had the opportunity to meet some of you at events in 10 states. You’ve impressed me as intelligent and thoughtful folks concerned about the future of our families, churches, and communities. You’re careful with your dollars, and I’m glad you’re willing to invest some as members of and donors to the World News Group.
Last month you read my mentor Joel Belz’s take on why we deserve a spot on your end-of-the-year giving list. I’ve learned from Joel the need to lose some of my awkwardness in requesting donations. He wrote that he is “bold to ask you to write out a check to WORLD for $25, $50, $100, or even $1,000” and is “boldly looking for 25 of you who will commit to give $5,000 not just this year, but each year for a three-year stretch.”
OK, boldness. Here are five ways we at WORLD are being bold, and then asking you to be bold as well. First, at a time when other news organizations are firing reporters, we’re hiring: two new full-time writers and lots of part-timers. Some news organizations talk about the potential of “citizen journalists,” but we’re making it real by spending a week each year training 10 WORLD readers to become WORLD writers. Many of them are now writing for our website. We’re starting to take applications for our fourth annual mid-career training course, which we’ll hold next fall, God willing. (Bold step: To start the process, please send a resume and writing samples to June McGraw, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Second, at a time when the typical news organization is spending less than 1 percent of its budget on the training of young people, we’re investing many more of our dollars and hours in doing just that. We start with God’s World News for kids and teens, of course, but in late May we focus on an intensive two-week World Journalism Institute (WJI) course for current college students and recent graduates. In our paid internship program, several interns each year live with Susan and me during the summer, all the while working hard at improving their writing. (Bold step: If you or someone you know is interested, visit worldji.com and apply.)
Third, at a time when other news organizations are reserving for themselves every dollar they raise, we’re continuing to honor biblical concern for the poor through our Hope Award for Effective Compassion, which distributes $45,000 each year to local ministries that offer challenging, personal, and spiritual help to those in need. Last month we announced the 2013 national winner, selected by your votes: Administer Justice, which gives the poor legal help and biblical counsel. (Bold step: It’s time to start sending your nominations for 2014 to email@example.com. Please give the name and location of the ministry, and explain briefly how it applies biblical truth to practical problems.)
Fourth, although over the years we’ve emphasized communicating through the pages of WORLD, we also want to reach people through whatever media will expose them to God’s truth. We’re investing in WORLD Radio, now with half-hour daily shows and two-hour weekly shows available online and on numerous stations. We run the Amy Writing Awards for Bible-based articles published in secular newspapers, and we also help WJI students strongly committed to Christ to get paid internships at secular newspapers and websites. (Bold step: Go to wng.org/amyawards and submit an article—deadline is Jan. 15.)
Fifth, at a time when time-consuming and popularity-risking investigative reporting is rare, WORLD brings you both tidings of comfort and joy and also some bad news that helps us to pray more boldly. In this issue we have an inspiring Daniel of the Year cover story but also a “problems of Christian leadership” story on a church that may have spent some money unwisely—and we’re working on similar stories for our last issue of the year two weeks from now.
Can I drop my fundraising diffidence, channel my internal Joel, and boldly ask you to visit wng.org/worldmovers and give a tax-deductible donation quickly and securely online? Yes I can! WORLD is being five-ways bold: Will you be our partners in boldness?