I recently posted the following survey on Twitter with some interesting results:
Christians: you have $100 to donate to one of two organizations:
Organization 1: provides clean drinking water to Saharan villagers.
Organization 2: evangelizes Saharan villagers.
Don't bother with "false dichotomy" replies. This is a real choice.
So … who gets the $100?
— Randal Rauser (@RandalRauser) February 13, 2018
The Value of Gospel Branding
In this article, I’d like to build on the topic of NGOs (non-governmental not-for-profit organizations). In this case, let’s imagine that the two NGOs are devoted to the same mission: equipping villagers to build the infrastructure required to give clean water to Saharan villagers. Both organizations also have the same modus operandi: they teach the villagers how to dig and maintain wells and they provide them with the required equipment to dig and maintain those wells.
But there are also three important differences: first, while the one NGO — Water for Life (WFL) — is avowedly Christian, the other NGO — Clean Water Communities (CWC) — is secular. Second, WFL is clearly branded as “Christian”. The workers tell villagers they are Christian and that they come in the name of Jesus to bring water. Third, WFL devotes an additional 10% of its funds to administration and this leaves 10% less available for carrying out the primary mission of water resources. The key is that you don’t know where that extra money allotted to administration is going.
WFL (Christian) CWC (Secular)
Promotion 10% 10%
Administration 20% 10%
Mission 70% 80%
Here’s the question (for Christians in particular): do you value WFL’s Christian branding (a tacit form of pre-evangelism) sufficiently that you will support WFL over CWC despite the fact that WFL has an unexplained additional 10% in administrative costs?