We Care, You Care, Charisma Cares

by | Mar 10, 2014 | Blogs, The Strang Report

If you’ve read the book Bruchko, you know the amazing story of how Bruce Olsen took the gospel to the Motilone Indians in the jungles of South America, winning nearly the entire tribe to the Lord. What you may not know is that Bruce’s story was first reported in Christian Life magazine in the early 1960s by my late mentor Robert Walker. Bruce has been supported month after month since then through the nonprofit Walker founded, Christian Life Missions, which acts as a pass-through for Bruce—giving him 100 percent of the money sent in.

For nearly four decades Charisma has shared countless other stories about people and ministries helping others through the love of Jesus. This month’s issue is no different. In fact, we ran a story in 1978 on the late Mark Buntain, founder of the ministy featured in our cover story (p. 20).

As journalists we write these stories because they touch the heart and need to be told. As Christians we want to help. And many ministries have literally been transformed by the national spotlight Charisma has given them, though that wasn’t our primary goal. For example, Danita’s Children, started by Danita Estrella-Watts, now rescues and cares for hundreds of orphans in Haiti each month in part because of the overwhelming support of Charisma readers responding to a story we wrote about her in 2001. And Al Hollingsworth’s BOSS The Movement is now all over the world due to some international readers learning about the ministry in Charisma and bringing that life-changing program to their nations.

We raise money for these ministries because we care and because we know readers like you care. We’re able to help these ministries through our nonprofit partner, Christian Life Missions (CLM). And our policy is still that 100 percent of the money goes to those ministries.

Think about it: How often can you give a donation in which 100 percent of it goes straight to that ministry? Not often! We cover our modest overhead expenses with other funds so that when you receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation, you know the entire donation went to the ministry of your choice. You can give with confidence because CLM is audited and is also a charter member of the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability. Visit christianlifemissions.com to see the list of ministries we continue to support (as you donate to them).

Over the years the amounts raised have usually been small—sometimes only a few thousand dollars—because there’s been little effort made to develop donors. Our strategy was simply to help whatever ministries we might have covered in the course of our work as Christian journalists.

Many ministries do a lot of good and help many people, yet because of how they are set up, much of the funds raised goes to keeping the organization running. But few do what we do: look for worthy ministries to help, raise money for them and then pass the entire donation to them.

Charisma Media publishes books, sells subscriptions and pays for the magazine with advertising. Our business model doesn’t require donations. So we aren’t raising money for ourselves. We are doing this because we care and because we know so many of you care.

And together, “Charisma Cares.” That isn’t just the name of a new initiative; it’s what we’ll use in the future for all fundraising activities associated with CLM, since our readers can better identify with it. We’ll spotlight a different ministry in each issue of Charisma, though readers can always donate to other ministries featured in the issue. This month, we invite you to help support Calcutta Mercy Ministries (see p. 20).

CLM also awards scholarships to full-time undergraduate or graduate students to honor the journalistic legacy of Robert Walker. This year we’re offering a combined $9,000 through a writing contest for those who published a work in the previous 12 months (can be print, radio or online) that presented a Christian worldview. Entries will be judged on clarity of writing, excellence of thought and the impact of what was written. In addition, judges will give weight to the significance of the media platform used. You can find out more at christianlifemissions.com.

You can also move beyond just reading Charisma’s stories; you can be part of them through your giving. Become a partner with us. Sign up for our newsletter or learn more on our website. Think of the lives we can touch by banding together and doing more collectively than we can separately. And think of how far your tax-deductible gift can go when 100 percent goes to a ministry.

We care. We know you care. And together we can do more as partners with Charisma Cares.


Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter @sstrang or Facebook (stephenstrang).

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