A Virtual Gala
On Nov. 12, the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries (FIRM) hosted a Virtual Gala from the balcony of their Jerusalem offices with a goal to raise funds for 25 local Israeli ministries.
FIRM exists to empower local ministries to transform Israel. Their dynamic work in Israel focuses on building up and unifying the local Body of believers. And FIRM supporters are blessing God’s people through local ministries in the Land of the Bible.
“Because of the global pandemic, tour groups did not travel to Israel this year,” said FIRM CEO Michael Mistretta. “We also had to cancel our annual conference, Jerusalem Encounter.
“This year, more than ever, we saw it was time to try something new,” he continued. “In faith, we decided to host an online event that would reflect the generosity of our ministry partners in a year like 2020.”
For the Sake of Israel
FIRM invited 40-50 trusted friends and partners to join them for a one-hour online gala, where they would raise funds and invest 100% of the proceeds into various ministries.
There were 5 group categories of ministries, based on specific needs within Israel:
- Rescuing women entrapped from sex trafficking,
- Helping congregations pivot to digital,
- Finding new ways to spread the Gospel,
- Equipping and discipling Israeli leaders,
- Providing a safe home for at-risk children.
“There was an excitement to be together that evening. The event was a huge success,” said Mistretta. “Within the first 30 minutes, we raised over $252,000 from pledges (exceeding our initial target of $240,000).” Later, FIRM received an additional $65,000 from donations after the online gala.
“Our partners continued to give even after we surpassed the initial goal. So, there were others who couldn’t come to the gala, but they decided to donate after the fact,” said Mistretta. “We were blown away.”
Operating in Unity
Mistretta feels the success of the event was a testimony to the importance of unity among the believers. In other words, he believes that ministries will raise more funds when they work together, instead of competing against each other. In result, they will be a bigger blessing to the community.
FIRM held the virtual gala as part of this year’s broader RISE UP Campaign. Its ultimate goal was to raise and give away one million dollars to various ministry partners in Israel during 2020.
“This gala significantly closed the gap and resulted in a strong finish for the year,” said Mistretta. “In fact, we expect the generosity of our partners will positively impact at least 10,000 Israeli lives.”
This article was originally published on news.kehila.org on Dec 31, 2020, under the title: Virtual Gala for Local Israeli Ministries Raises over a Quarter of a Million Dollars in One Night. Republished with permission. The article has been edited for the purposes of this publication.
Kehila.org is a community news & online information portal of the Messianic/ Christian Community in Israel. The vision of Kehila.org is to connect the millions of Christians around the world who love Israel with the Messianic community in Israel.
WE DID IT // Over $1 Million Raised // RiseUp 2020 Year End Campaign Results