Before the close of 2022, donors from across the Sooner State helped Oklahoma Baptist entities raise funds through a special $100,000 gift match from WatersEdge. The generosity was a noteworthy example of believers’ faithfulness and an affirmation of WatersEdge’s mission: to financially empower donors and ministries to transform lives with the Gospel.
Under the initiative, WatersEdge matched 25 percent of charitable gifts to endowments benefitting the four primary Baptist entities in the state — Oklahoma Baptists, Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), Baptist Village Communities and Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. For those involved with each ministry, the funds were a welcome surprise.
“When I found out about the match, I was of course very excited,” says Jim Hively, OBU’s senior director of development, who spearheaded the match’s fundraising project at OBU. “For our alumni, our donors and our constituents, endowed scholarships are very high on the list of what they’re interested in giving to.”
The matching gifts allowed Hively and the OBU development team to provide extra incentive to new and existing donors, as well as fund several new endowed scholarships.
“It stepped up the game, so to speak,” Hively says. “We were able to go to a few of these families who were interested in starting a new scholarship and tell them it was a great time to make a gift because of the match.”
The gift match was a compelling pitch for givers to all four organizations. Randall Ice, who recently retired after more than 30 years as a finance professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, is a long-time donor to Baptist Village Communities (BVC). He’s personally invested in the senior adult organization’s ministry because his mother resides at one of BVC’s campuses. When Ice learned about the matching opportunity through WatersEdge, making a special gift was an easy choice.
“Anytime you can get even a partial match for an endowment gift, you start off ahead,” he says. “It builds up the strength of the giving program overall. I always try to encourage people to take advantage of that, and 2022’s matching opportunity made it even easier.”
In total, WatersEdge provided $100,000 in matching funds to be shared between the four entities, giving an extra financial boost during a year that might otherwise have been challenging.
“Our purpose is to financially empower donors and ministries,” says David Depuy, chief investment officer and president of WatersEdge Advisors. “The exciting thing about providing a match for gifts to a perpetual endowment fund is that it allows us to do both — amplify a donor’s impact on the life-changing ministries they’ve chosen to bless, and continue to bless those ministries each year until Jesus returns.”
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By Kedrick Nettleton