Foundations, other donors make NCC healthy if not wealthy

Social justice and environmental work supported
Bob Edgar said he was hired seven years ago as the top executive of the financially bleeding National Council of Churches to do three things: Raise money, raise money and raise money.

Edgar, a United Methodist minister and a former member of Congress and seminary president, trimmed staff and programs initially, then began seeking funds from foundations and other secular donors, rather than only from the traditional religious sources. Now, he has heard belated cries of “foul” from the Christian right.

“Thank goodness the foundations did recognize our mission and ministry,” Edgar said in an interview. “Otherwise the council would be operating today on a $3 million budget instead of a $7.5 million one.”


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