In the spirit of collective commitment and thoughtful generosity, Moravians across America are gearing up for the fourth annual Moravian Day of Giving – a day that transcends individual contributions to make a combined impact, this year held on February 13, 2024.
The Moravian Day of Giving is an opportunity for Moravians to make unexpected gifts above and beyond their regular tithe or pledge. On the Day, individuals are encouraged to use the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (MMFA)’s online Giving Portal to contribute to their church, Moravian agencies, or ministries that ignite passion and resonate with their values.
Timed to coincide with Mardi Gras, this event serves as a collective expression of gratitude and a commitment to make a positive impact. Last year, the Moravian Day of Giving raised over $220,000 in one day!
The Heart of Moravian Giving
Moravians have a long-standing tradition of giving generously, both as individuals and as a community responding to God’s call. Grounded in our Covenant for Christian Living, Moravians find inspiration to extend generosity beyond personal commitments, contributing to the betterment of our churches, Moravian agencies, and ministries close to their hearts.
“The idea for a Moravian Day of Giving took shape in late 2020,” says Chris Spaugh, president of MMFA. “Given the popularity of Giving Tuesday and Giving Days for other organizations, I simply asked, ‘Why can’t we have our own Moravian Day?’ The concept came to life with the dedicated efforts of the creative team at MMFA. The launch of the very first Day of Giving in 2021 was special because we had endured a year of COVID, and we found it rewarding to encourage Moravians to help in a new way.”
Anchored in Matthew 25, MMFA’s Field of Interest Funds (FOI) award grants each year, addressing areas of need such as housing and shelter, health and healing, prison ministry, environmental stewardship and more.
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, MMFA has identified matching donors for all of the Moravian Field of Interest Funds, up to $2,500 per fund. These sponsors are deeply committed to the specific service areas represented by the FOI Funds. They have personally seen the important work the funds have been able to support, and they want to see the funds grow and sustain more Moravian ministries. This matching initiative aims to amplify the impact of individual contributions, further enhancing the positive change Moravians can collectively bring about.
“One of the joys of being involved in MMFA’s grantmaking program is getting to see money turning into ministry, and the impact that ministry has on those it touches,” says MMFA’s Laura Watson. “Some examples of this include $13,000 for kitchen renovations so a church can start a free meal for the community each month; $2,500 to help cover medical, dental and vision services for residents in a transitional housing program; $2,000 for Bibles for people who are incarcerated; $1,000 to purchase shoes for elementary aged students in an underserved neighborhood; and so many more. Every dollar given to MMFA’s grantmaking funds has impact. Every gift makes a difference.”
Grant requests often exceed the funds that are available, and while many of the applications we received were eligible for full funding; we simply didn’t have enough money to award. Thus, the gifts made to our grantmaking funds on Moravian Day of Giving are critical!
Incentives for Giving
To inspire heightened participation, MMFA will grant $2,500 to the five (yes, five!) Moravian organizations (churches, agencies, camps, etc.) with the most unique individual donors. What could your ministry do with $2,500?
Last year, Common Grace, a ministry of Lakeview Moravian Community Church & Zion Faith Community (ELCA) in Madison, Wisconsin, received the grand prize giving incentive.
“Common Grace was completely energized by the Moravian Day of Giving grant money that we received! None of the grant money went into our operating budget. The board offered the congregation a chance to dream with the funds, which they helped secure with their participation,” said the Rev. Staci Marrese-Wheeler of Common Grace. “The congregation really embraced the gift as resources to be shared with our neighborhood. It wasn’t merely the “winning” of the money, it was the opportunity to have money to share with our community, which got Common Grace folks excited.”
As Moravians prepare for the Moravian Day of Giving on February 13, 2024, the focus is not just on financial contributions but on the collective power of a united community driven by shared values. It’s an opportunity for Moravians to embody the spirit of giving, making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities, echoing the teachings of scripture and the foundational principles of the Moravian faith.
Hanna Cheek Jackson is communications and marketing specialist for the Moravian Ministries Foundation of America. Established in 1998 by a Synod directive, MMFA is an interprovincial organization whose mission is to grow and sustain the ministries that are central to our Moravian faith., and whos motto is “Moving ministries forward, together.” Learn more at mmfa.com.
Starting in January, MMFA will be showcasing several of the matching donors’ #IGiveMoravian stories, as well as grant impact stories. Make sure to follow MMFA on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to learn WHY other Moravians give.
Why do you give Moravian? What Moravian organizations or ministries do you feel led to support? What areas of service do you feel passionate about? Where you would like to see YOUR contribution make a difference?
We invite you to share these answers on Tuesday, February 13th on social media. Be sure to tag MMFA on Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #IGiveMoravian.