Since 2004, the couple’s commitment to supporting Lutheran World Relief’s mission has only grown as they have become more familiar with individual projects and our strategic vision.
John is impressed with our approach to impact investing.
“Rather than provide a grant with no accountability or plans for future engagement, Lutheran World Relief engages with a community as an investor,” he says. “There is the hope that everyone involved will receive a return for the investment, and the beneficiaries become partners in a very real sense that dignifies those in need of assistance. Everyone is working together to bring about ultimate success.”
Anne noted our innovation in forging partnerships with the for-profit sector as well, “Lutheran World Relief utilizes partnerships with business in a way that other aid organizations don’t. Most 501(c)(3)s partner with each other and receive grants from the government. But developing relationships with businesses is really unique and has not really been explored by others,” she says.
As John and Anne move into another year of involvement with us, they agree on one thing that has surprised them: The “multiplier effects” from our projects that extend well beyond the original planned scope.
For example, one project designed to address child malnutrition by engaging moms in growing vegetables was extremely successful not only in improving nutrition, but also in improving children’s educational outcomes and the moms’ sense of pride in caring for the family in a new way. The mothers then shared what they were learning with neighboring communities, spreading the project’s benefits beyond the initial communities.
For John, support for Lutheran World Relief is an imperative.
God has blessed us with the means to provide assistance to those who have been less fortunate. Where Lutheran World Relief excels is identifying opportunities on a global scale where our resources can have the most impact.
Anne also hopes to foster in others a commitment to help around the world.
“There’s so much need. With disasters that hit us here at home, at least our government gives support,” she says. “There are so many places in the world where the government isn’t doing that. If anybody ever has any questions for us, please talk to us. We’re happy to talk to everyone about Lutheran World Relief.”