As the business manager of Zola Levitt Ministries, I would like to tell you about our administrative stewardship. First of all, please know that we have achieved a perfect score — four stars out of four! If you go to www.charitynavigator.org and enter “Zola Levitt Ministries” into the search engine, you will see that they have awarded us their top efficiency score. Of the four other nonprofit organizations in our category, one earned two stars, and three earned only one star! Since Charity Navigator does not accept contributions or fees from the organizations that it evaluates, its assessments are unbiased. For details, please read the “Ministry Recognized” article on pages 4 and 5 of the February ’05 Levitt Letter, which is archived at www.levitt.com.
We also passed muster during an eight-prong IRS audit a couple of years ago. Their agent conducted a “field exam,” meaning that she visited us for two solid days. Though our payroll company had withheld and paid payroll taxes properly, the IRS wanted to make sure. While they were at it, the IRS double-checked that we met all of the requirements of the 501(c)(3) statute that qualifies us for our nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
For fifteen years, Darrell Keller, an independent CPA who specializes in auditing, has volunteered his time yearly to examine our books. He also charges less than a third of the industry rate to complete our tax return. This ministry was so prepared for the IRS examiner’s questions, plus our records were in such good order, that the audit process seemed like taking a test for which someone had given us the answers. Our previous IRS audit was twenty years ago, and we did fine on that one, too. At this rate, our next audit should occur in the early to mid 2020s, assuming the Lord tarries!
I don’t mean to boast about this ministry’s diligent stewardship. Instead this is a respectful report on delivering the service you entrust to us. Whether or not you realize it, beyond supporting on-location television programs and free newsletters, a small part of your tithes and offerings is allocated to responsible management. We strive to maximize our management’s impact by avoiding penny wisdom and pound foolishness and by finding ways to increase our outreach’s effectiveness while cutting costs.
Employees. We hire staff who would at least consider working here for free if they could afford to. They routinely go the extra mile while earning modest wages in a peaceful, casual office where they’re treated with dignity. We have prayer meetings each Tuesday morning. We post our readers’ and staff’s prayer requests prominently near our copier and fax machine, and we perform these prayers. We have remarkably few disputes. Several employees have returned after having left to earn more in the secular world. If you call our office number, (214) 696-8844, during business hours (CT), you’ll experience genuine courtesy. And it is noteworthy that our 24-hour answering service, at 1-800-WONDERS (1-800-966-3377), consistently says that our callers are the kindest of all!
Equipment. I have applied to our office workers the principle from the Scripture “How can they serve God if they are not sent?” If you send a worker to do a task, then why not equip him sufficiently to be a good steward with his time? Our office equipment epitomizes the sweet spot on the technology curve — not the latest and greatest, but near enough for the strongest performance overall. Specifically, we have a fast copier, fairly quick computers, wireless headsets for our telephones, voicemail and up-to-date package and letter-handling systems.
Suppliers. We actively compete for responsive, reliable service by paying invoices every week. Some of our suppliers and vendors give us significant price concessions because they know, partly from what we order, that we’re serious about the Lord’s work. Others value relationships with us because we’re loyal to those who give us a fair shake and courteous even during mishaps. Our Levitt Letter’s previous print shop went out of business when we transferred the account to a larger operation with direct-to-plate presses in the interest of stewardship. Nonetheless, that earlier proprietor remains a friend to this day and gives us free consulting on our more complex printing propositions!
Transparency. This ministry has quite an advantage in the department of reporting what we do because, whether it’s on television, through the mail, or over the Internet, so much of what we do is reporting. Our independently audited financial statements are free for the asking. Our board of directors is well aware of our financial affairs and diligently guides us on major decisions. You can see what we do just by tuning in Zola Levitt Presents or reading our newsletters. Beyond that, you owe it to yourself to visit www.levitt.com, a multifaceted ministry in and of itself.
The Internet. We never envisioned the Internet as a moneymaker for us (and it hasn’t been), but what a cost-effective way to reach those who wish to be fed discreetly! From our archive of newsletters, to our chat room and discussion board, to our Frequently Asked Questions, Road to Heaven page, and Zola on Internet TV (why pay for our videos when you can watch them for free? — Yes, we Napster ourselves!), you can see most of what we do without ever leaving your computer.
Icing on the cake. Our To the Jew First Fund continues to send six missionaries per year to Israel. Our Anatot Fund recently sponsored a $4,000 truck overhaul and $8,000 worth of equipment for the Youth Center at Anatot, the Israeli settlement that we adopted several years ago. We still forward 100% of contributions designated for the Trinity Foundation’s homeless shelter (see www.trinityfi.org/mission/), Bridges for Peace (see www.bridgesforpeace.com to learn about a ministry in Israel that really helps immigrants get established AND ministers to them) — with zero, as in nothing, going to American middlemen, plus other organizations whose spokespeople Zola has interviewed on television. We absorb credit card, long distance, answering service and business reply envelope charges and remit 100% to the designated recipients.
Our ministry’s success is a living testimonial to the effectiveness of modeling organizations on Biblical principles. Start with a vision and a mission, bless Israel, attract people and resources, follow through on your promises, make your needs known, stay with your vision and your mission and never forget to glorify God.
Please stay with us on your prayers and support as we finish producing our new television series, Age of Terror. We think it is especially relevant to our times, and, while it burdens us financially to produce a lengthy location series like this one, we were led of the Lord to make these programs. Please do ask Him what He would have you do to support the new production schedule and the ongoing airtime invoices.
It is said that June is the month for weddings. So why not join us June 14–24 in the land where the Bridegroom will one day descend for His bride and set up permanent residence? We will visit the major Biblical sites, join efforts in an archaeological dig and rest peacefully at our wonderful kibbutz hotel accommodations. Who knows? The trumpet may sound while we are there. (The Rapture would then be only a domestic flight.) Call Tony at (214) 696-9760 during business hours or 1-800-WONDERS (966-3377) anytime to request your full-color brochure.
If you’re anywhere in the eastern Midwest or California, and would like to have Zola speak in your church this summer (after the week of July 4th), we need to hear from you as early as possible. He’ll drive through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, and possibly to Chicago and Milwaukee, depending on which churches ask him to speak. He will also serve California by air in August. Please contact Claudia at , or ask for her at our office by calling (214) 696-8844 to arrange for a speaking date as soon as possible. Frankly, because of arrangements we must make with parking Zola’s travel trailer and so forth, we need to plan well ahead. Thanks!
And please remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
In His service,
P.S. Since the summer months are traditionally lean for us in terms of giving, won’t you kindly complete the enclosed form for joining Zola’s Monthly Gift Club? Of course, he and I are grateful to those of you who prefer to continue supporting this outreach with individual transactions. Automating the process, however, will save time on your end as well as ours. Thanks either way!