Last year Thrivent Financial for Lutherans ® started a new charitable grant program called Thrivent ChoiceSM. This replaced Giving Plus®, which was discontinued at the end of 2009. Giving Plus® worked out very well for us. Between 2005 and 2009 we received $179,000 from Thrivent, more than $35,000 per year. So naturally many of us wondered how we might be affected when it was announced that Giving Plus® would be discontinued.
How the program works
Each year Thrivent gives away millions of dollars to Lutheran organizations. In the Thrivent ChoiceSM program, a portion of Thrivent’s charitable funds – called Choice DollarsSM – is distributed to Lutheran organizations at the direction of Thrivent members. Eligible Thrivent members are awarded Choice DollarsSM periodically through the year, in amounts between $25 and $2,500. They may at that time direct their Choice DollarsSM to the Lutheran organization of their choice. Last year $25 million Choice DollarsSM were given to more than 18,000 Lutheran organizations. Choice DollarsSM can be directed on the web at www.thrivent.com or by a calling 1-800-THRIVENT. If you own a Thrivent financial product, you are probably an eligible member. Since Choice DollarsSM are designated to members periodically, Thrivent allows members to set up a recurring direction of Choice DollarsSM to facilitate their donation.
WMPL and Thrivent Choice
Last year we received $7,693 in Thrivent Choice DollarsSM. The program did not begin until the second half of the year, so that amount represents four months in the program. During the first five months of this year, we have received $12,056 from Thrivent ChoiceSM. Last year 87 individual Thrivent members directed their Choice DollarsSM to the Prayer League, and this year so far 130 have done so. These are significant amounts – though not, so far, as much as we received under the previous program. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with and receive benevolence funds in this way from Thrivent. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to direct your Choice DollarsSM to the World Mission Prayer League. It is very much appreciated!