Making our world a better place requires innovation. And innovation means change. On September 29, 2014, the Board of Directors of Jesus’ Economy decided to make two changes to make our organization more effective and sustainable. First, we are now reinvesting profit from fair trade product purchases into our Operations Fund. Second, we will be listing products from other fair trade vendors—who have operations in the U.S.—under a profit share model. These changes are effective today, October 15, 2014. Here are seven reasons why this matters and why it will make your shopping experience at Jesus’ Economy even better.
We send 100% of your donation where you designate—meaning if you donate $100 to church planting in India, we send a full $100 to church planting in India—but that makes raising our U.S. operations costs difficult. Designating sales profit from fair trade product purchases towards operations will help us raise administrative funds faster, so that we can spend more time fundraising for water wells instead of our water bill. (We don’t actually have a water bill yet, but you get the point.)
Our U.S. staff will not only coordinate developing world projects and launch campaigns; they will help facilitate U.S. churches doing more for the gospel in their local community. Regularly, Kalene and I are able to help U.S. churches turn a corner towards deeper living for Jesus. We often find ourselves delivering messages—accompanied by prayer intercession—that inspire people as individuals and churches to fully embrace both local and global outreach. Jesus’ Economy is bringing people into richer relationship with Jesus here in the U.S. and around the world—through online content and in-person.
Previously, we divided any profit from fair trade product purchases as: 30% into microloans, 30% into church grants, 30% into meeting basic needs, and 10% into our operations fund. Under this profit reinvestment model for product purchases—and with 100% of donations designated to developing world projects going straight to those projects—Kalene and I were regularly supplementing the Operations Fund. Jesus’ Economy could not make ends meet—we were preaching sustainability while not living it. It’s difficult to get people to donate to our U.S. Operations Fund, but people often eagerly donate to our developing world projects. Our new model makes it possible for us to continue our work in the U.S.—without which, the international work wouldn’t happen—while still funding the work in developing communities.
To date, each entrepreneur—and organization they work through—has made a profit upon our product purchase. We have then resold that product to you, the customer. The entrepreneurs and organizations will now make a profit shortly after the sale of the product to you, the customer. So with each product purchase, you will continue to create jobs, as well as make our work in the U.S. happen.
After traveling around the country this year representing Jesus’ Economy, we learned that many fair trade vendors in the U.S. have excellent resources for managing inventory and shipping products direct. So, we’re going to empower them to fulfill our orders too. Some products you purchase will be delivered directly by Jesus’ Economy while others will come directly from our vendors. For you, this just means more fair trade products available for purchase.
The main issue facing developing world entrepreneurs is lack of access to a global marketplace. With each non-profit managing their unique fair trade stores online, part of this marketplace is created. But a centralized hub that lists all the online fair trade products, like JesusEconomy.org, creates even more opportunity. It gives you, the buyer, more selection. You also get the peace of mind of knowing that we have fully verified the vendor as fair trade and ethical. It also gives the artisans, and the organizations they work through, more exposure. Everyone wins.
Soon, you will have more selection to buy from—allowing for us to deliver you a better experience. Meanwhile, Jesus’ Economy will continue to deliver the same level of customer service or even better. We will directly handle any inquiries regarding your purchase and personally resolve them.
Innovation is always difficult—it requires us to make changes. But I believe that these changes will create more jobs. They will make your investment with Jesus’ Economy even better—and your product purchases do even more for the world. These changes will also make your shopping experience better.
Let’s transform lives together.
P.S. Jesus’ Economy is gearing up for the Christmas season by listing even more great products from artisans around the world. With so much selection, you will find gifts for everyone on your holiday list!
P.S.S. If you have any questions, you can email me (the CEO) at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll respond directly to you and if I think others will wonder about the same question, I’ll write a blog post to answer it.