Just like the story of the widow and two coins in Luke 21, we believe that every gift – no matter how small – is valuable. As fellow Christians, we work hard to use your donations wisely and ensure that as much as possible goes to lifting people out of poverty and restoring lives. We do this in four main ways:
- Small team: You might be surprised to learn that Tearfund Canada has a relatively small team and many of our staff perform multiple functions. This helps us send more money overseas to help people in need.
- Local Partnerships: doing things in community is part of God’s design. Instead sending staff overseas, with expensive salaries, our work is done through local church partners as much as possible. This not only reduces cost, but also has been proven to be more effective and sustainable in lifting people out of poverty.
- Global Networks: Over the years we have built relationships with several networks in order to more effectively and efficiently follow Jesus where the need is greatest. Our partnerships with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Integral Network, and Tearfund Family allow us to often multiply your gifts several times over and help us respond anywhere in the world.
- Hand-ups not handouts: Simply giving more money rarely helps people escape poverty. Instead, we invest in training and supplies to help people use their own God-given skills and abilities to lift themselves out of poverty. This approach has proven to be highly effective in helping people escape of poverty with less money and sustainably.
One of the concerns donors typically have is how much is spent on overhead. In 2018, we spent 9.5% on fundraising and 6.8% on administration. This includes paying for our finance and HR staff, maintaining our computer, website, and telephone systems, paying for legal costs, lease, and all fundraising activities including salaries and materials.
Fundraising and marketing is an essential component of helping the poor out of poverty. A 9.5% spend percentage means that for every $1 spent on fundraising, $10 gets raised. Furthermore, there is a direct relationship to how much we spend on fundraising and how much we receive. When we spend less, we receive less donations to help empower churches and lift people out of poverty.