4 Things to Consider When Giving to a Ministry

Below are 4 simple things to consider when giving to a ministry. 

1. Longevity

Each year, it is popularly known that 300 restaurants a year in San Francisco close down. According to Eater SF, 49 restaurants closed in the Bay Area just in the Fall of 2016. It’s always easier to start something, but much harder to finish. There is no shortage of ministry ideas and visions, but how many of them will be here for the long haul? When SF City Impact started, it was only an act of passing out 50 sandwiches.

The beginning years of our ministry were organic and slow growing. We were fueled by our love for Jesus and our desire to serve. We were excited. We were driven. And we were naive. Some of our hardest lessons lay before us. We had no idea how to start a ministry when we embarked on this journey with a bag full of sandwiches and a handful of kids, but God was guiding us the whole time. He was faithful. Giving wisdom. Granting mercy. Filling us with grace. And we surely needed it then as we do now. — Roger Huang, Chasing God

SF City Impact has been serving San Francisco for 32 years since 1984 and we plan to be here for the next 32. The upcoming 2017 year will be the 20th anniversary of our K-8 School, San Francisco City Academy. Longevity speaks to the character of a ministry.


2. Activity

Pay a visit. Glossy brochures and professional websites are easily done, especially when there isn’t much activity happening on the frontlines. Paying a visit to a ministry will speak volumes. If non-profits are human change agents, the question begs, “Where are the people?” SF City Impact has 75+ people everyday serving in 10+ ministries reaching 8,000 people each month. 

Through our Child Sponsorship program, sponsors can visit their student at our K-8 School, San Francisco City Academy. Mentorship is a large part of coming alongside children and families in the community. Volunteers can mentor after going through our orientation and training. 

Come hear about all of our day-to-day ministries and take a tour at San Francisco City Impact by completing our volunteer form at

3. Indigenous Leaders

This is by far our most important metric. Indigenous leaders are people who were at one time recipients of our programs, but now leading in the community. 20% of our 50 staff are indigenous leaders. Their lives have been changed by SFCI and they are now helping lead SF City Impact. Additionally, we have roughly 35 community volunteers who serve at our Rescue Mission each week. Our goal is to have people within the community take ownership to create sustainability and take pride in revitalizing their own community.

4. Vision

It isn’t good enough to have a clear vision; the real question is, does the vision meet the needs of the community or city it is planted in? You can have a clear vision but still not impact a single lost soul. At the end of the day, we want to see the Tenderloin community revitalized.

At City Impact, we realize it takes three types of work to revive this community: 

  1. Relief for those who are in urgent need
  2. Rehabilitation for those wanting a way out 
  3. Development to help make sure that the vicious cycles of poverty and despair are not repeated 

It is happening one life at a time, and more than social justice, what we want most is spiritual justice, God redeeming this community, through us. Our vision is to scale it until the community is fully restored.