I am writing from the English campus of Ambassador College near London, where I am having to cut in half the amount of advertising space we are currently using in mass-circulation magazines and newspapers WORLDWIDE.
We had already made a considerable cut in this powerful advertising program some two or three months ago, and also we had cancelled out a few of the radio stations we were using. And now I may have to return to Pasadena and cancel out at least 100 more of the radio stations broadcasting The WORLD TOMORROW.
I have just received from our business office ln Pasadena a financial report for the month of July, and a report for the year to date. This makes it necessary to write you immediately from here, sending the letter to Pasadena where my secretary will see to having it mailed to all our Co-Workers over the U.S. and Canada.
I know this sounds as if this great Work of the Living God is going backward. IT HAS NOT gone backward. It has gone FORWARD far faster than we had anticipated, due to the unexpected and OVERWHELMING RESPONSE to this advertising program we initiated a year ago. It has GONE FORWARD, and increased the power and scope of getting CHRIST'S GOSPEL to the world so far beyond expectations that now I am having to cut in half the purchase of advertising space reaching ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION PEOPLE — and I may have to make drastic cuts in the radio broadcasting, unless our now large family of Co-Workers come to our aid.
So it is necessary that immediately I take you into my confidence to explain fully the situation.
First, the POWER and SCOPE of the Work has increased approximately 65% in the past year. Our number one commission from Jesus Christ is that This Gospel OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD shall be proclaimed throughout all the world as a witness to all nations.
For 35 years, this Work has increased in power and scope on an average of 27% to 30% every year over the preceding year. That means the size and power of the Work has DOUBLED over and over again in approximately every two years and eight months; or, every eight years it has become about EIGHT TIMES larger and more powerful than before. I do not know of ANY other activity, whether in commercial business, or non-commercial enterprise, that has had such a remarkable, steady, consistent, and rapid growth and success. Nor any productive of so much GOOD!
But, primarily due to the OVERWHELMING RESPONSE from the new campaign of purchasing full-page and double-page advertising space in the world's largest mass-circulation magazines and newspapers, this past year we have grown by about 65%! THAT IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! It seems INCREDIBLE! It is an AMAZING PROGRESS!
BUT — and here is the other side of the story — to maintain an approximate 30% growth per year, we have had to have also an approximate 30% increase every year in the financial income for the Work. As you know, this great Work is not backed or supported by any great multi-million dollar foundation, commercial corporation, or super-wealthy individuals. It has ALL had to come from our growing family of MANY CO-WORKERS. And the AVERAGE financial income of our Co-Workers is slightly BELOW the income of the AVERAGE FAMILY in the United States and Canada! The money to RUN this Work has had to come FROM THE POOR — not the wealthy! If we had not been receiving the MANY very small amounts of tithes and offerings — the WIDOWS' MITES — this Work could never have continued and grown as it has. Every single dollar COUNTS! Every single dollar IS IMPORTANT! Every single dollar DOES MORE GOOD — ACCOMPLISHES MORE — GOES FARTHER, in THIS WORK than any place I know of.
So — to increase the power of The WORK by 30% a year we have had to have a 30% per year increase in financial INCOME for the Work and due to the tremendous response from the ads, a 25% increase would suffice this year.
Now HERE IS THE SITUATION AT THE MINUTE! For this year 1969 we planned, in our budget, for approximately a 25% increase in money. Yet in the first 7 months of this year, 1969, our increase in money received has been only 11.03%. That sounds disastrous! Actually it isn't, BUT IT IS VERY SERIOUS!
Let me explain, so you will understand. Six or seven years ago I began asking you Co-Workers if you would LOAN to the Work, larger sums you might have on hand but which you felt unable to give outright as a donation, yet did not need to use until some future date. I told you it could be PUT TO WORK, doing much GOOD, instead of lying idle and unused in your bank. A few of you responded. We used the money in the Work, and it did help very greatly. The next year, the amount of money we received on this loan basis increased. And the next, and the next. It continued to increase. We found, after years of experience, that in time our Co-Workers were able to turn an average of 80% of the money loaned into outright donations. Only an average of 20% was found to be needed, and returned to our Co-Workers. So we maintained a cash balance equal to 20% in a special fund to guarantee repayment.
BUT, as the amounts of these loans grew, each year a larger amount being received as loans than the preceding year, by last year, about 12% of all the money we received came in the form of LOANS, not as REAL INCOME in tithes and offerings. We had to show these loans on our books as DEMAND loans — subject to repayment ON DEMAND. The amount had grown large enough that by the end of last year it did damage to our financial statement.
Yet we were using 80% of the money received as loans IN CARRYING ON THE WORK. At the beginning of this year I had to explain this to you Co-Workers. I asked all who could to turn their loans into outright donations. Many did. I asked all others to turn the loans outstanding into 5-year loans, under which we would be legally bound to repay not more than 20% in any one year. Again many responded, but many didn't.
As of now I am glad to report that after seven months our books show only ONE-THIRD as much in DEMAND LOANS on our books as at the end of last year. We still carry a larger amount on our books in demand loans than we would like, but we have made very good progress on this problem in seven months.
I now must once again ask all who possibly can, to cancel your loans and turn them into outright donations — and If you cannot do that, to CHANGE your loan into a 5-year loan. I have assured you that, if some emergency arises unexpectedly and you find you seriously NEED more than 20% of the loan returned, we will do our best to try to return to you as much of the loan as necessary — even all if necessary. And I feel we would be able to do so — but it will HELP THE WORK greatly If you will change the loan to a 5-year loan so we are not LEGALLY BOUND to repay more than 20% in any one year. I will feel we are MORALLY BOUND, as far as we are able, and I feel you know you can trust us on that basis.
But NOW I COME TO THE CRISIS PROBLEM OF THE MOMENT!
Since we have cut down so drastically on asking for new loans since the first of this year, we have received VERY FEW such loans. Co-Workers and Brethren, with a 65% INCREASE in the scope and effectiveness of GETTING OUT THE GOSPEL in the past 12 months, we simply CANNOT CONTINUE to keep the Work alive much longer, on only an 11.03% Increase in funds!
What has CAUSED the cash income to go down from 30% to 11.03% while the outgo to conduct the Work went up 65%? The answer: THE FACT WE HAD THE USE OF ALL THAT LOANED MONEY LAST YEAR, and we are receiving SO LITTLE money as loans THIS year!
Now I said we planned, on our budget, a 25% increased expenditure for this year of 1969. And the financial report I have just received from our business office shows that, in actual tithes and offerings — REAL income, exclusive of loans, our income for the first seven months of this year has actually been 24.6% increase over last year! So you see, the ONE PLACE the Work is being hurt now is in the fact that last year, WITH the cash to use from the LOANS, we had about a 25% increase, or more, — THIS year, with so FEW loans coming in our TOTAL money available for use in the Work is only 11.03% increase, while we are having to pay out, as committed by the budget, 25%. The difference is having to come out of cash reserves. The difference, then, is simply that last year we had all that extra BORROWED money to utilize — this year we stopped borrowing.
This year we did get our financial POSITION, as shown on our books due to decrease in demand loans in MUCH BETTER position, except we have had to dip into cash reserves, and lowered our cash balances, due to lack of cash received from LOANS. And we have had the BIGGEST INCREASE in the power of GETTING OUT THE GOSPEL of ANY year in the 35 1/2 years of this Work!
We are, you see, in a YEAR OF TRANSITION — getting the Work on a more sound financial basis, by reducing loan balances — and now we are FORCED to do something DRASTIC to get by this very tight year of transition.
I now have to make an URGENT EMERGENCY REQUEST FOR LOANS — if you have a LARGER SUM of a thousand OR MORE dollars — or even less — on hand that you simply CAN'T send in as a donation, that you LOAN IT to the Work, on the 5-year basis, binding us legally only to repay up to 20% in any one year. But I promise you we will consider the Work MORALLY BOUND to repay more than that, even up to full repayment IF you find you seriously need it.
Brethren in Christ, it is now EITHER THAT or I must start cancelling out radio and TV stations right and left over the United States and Canada. I have already had to cut the entire advertising program in the big mass-circulation magazines and news- papers IN HALF. I hope this will be TEMPORARY for about six months only.
But, UNLESS you Co-Workers can, and will, now RESPOND QUICKLY to the full extent of your ability, I will within 30 days cancel out 100 or more radio and television stations now carrying the precious GOSPEL.
Brethren, I KNOW we CAN meet this situation. I know you won't let me down — and let THE LIVING CHRIST down at this moment of crisis. Please join me in taking this situation to God in serious and believing PRAYER! If we successfully get past this next five months, the Work can be in the best shape ever during 1970. The living Christ will not let us down — we must not let HIM down! Pray URGENTLY! Try to send EXTRA offerings — and what you cannot give to the Work outright as a donation, please send the largest LOANS possible — and on the 5-year basis. I'm sure this will tide us over. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your loyalty and generous sacrifice.