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True Charity Network

Does your church or nonprofit want to become more effective at fighting poverty? Do you want to turn vision into measurable results? Do you want to see true charity principles in legislation and improving other organizations? If so, you should become a True Charity Network Member!

True Charity Summit

Things are not as they ought to be. Justice has been stolen. For the sake of the most vulnerable among us, it’s time to reclaim it. Join us for True Charity Summit: Reclaiming Justice on May 18-19, 2021.

True Charity University

Want to learn more about the principles of True Charity? You can at True Charity University. Fine-tuning your charitable practices to ensure you are helping rather than hurting by taking interactive courses at your own pace. The first two Marks of Effective Charity courses are available at no cost, for a limited time!

Community Collaborative Resources

Effective collaboration among charities, non-profits, churches, and individuals is vital in times like these – explore tools that help you and your organization do just that.


Watered Gardens has embarked on a months-long campaign to encourage the 4-state area on ways to #GiveBetter when you see someone flying a sign on a street corner.

The True Charity Initiative exists to champion a national movement of voluntarily sourced, effective charity at the most local level.

Educating • Connecting • Advocating

Educating • Connecting • Advocating

Articles & Media

For Those Living in Poverty, Social Distance Is Not a New Problem

Avery WestDirector of Community Initiatives   This article was originally published on WashingtonExaminer.com on January 4, 2021. “Human touch is so important,” says Jocelyn Brisson, shelter manager at Watered Gardens Rescue Mission in southwest Missouri. While...

RADIO INTERVIEW: The “What and Why” of the True Charity Initiative

TCI's Savannah Aleckson and Nathan Mayo discuss the "what and why" of the True Charity Initiative with Katrina Hine of KNEO Radio in Neosho, Missouri.

When Your Donation Hurts More Than Helps

Some have suggested it was originally used as a reference to people who lived in the geographic panhandle of a state. Others suggest it derived from the Spanish “pan,” meaning bread, and still others simply tie it to the tin pan extended by a beggar on a sidewalk. One outdated dictionary defined panhandler by distinguishing the person as “able-bodied” in contrast to other beggars who aren’t. More interesting is that panhandlers don’t use the term. They don’t “panhandle.” They…

Keep Excellence on Track with Operational Reviews

Imagine that you spend months crafting a relational, empowering program at your ministry. You carefully craft a series of questions for clients designed to find their talents and abilities. The person responsible for asking the questions changes out several times and one day you decide to sit in on the process. What was designed as an exercise in personal connection has become quite the opposite – an adversarial bureaucratic process that demeans your client. This happens more often that we know. It’s not enough to design your programs well, or implement them well in a trial run; you must maintain their effectiveness over time.

Reveal Compassion With the Invisible Neighbors Study

Invisible Neighbors is a faith-based study perfect for those looking to expand their knowledge and gain practical insight on how best to care for the poor. Written by John Ashmen, a long-time veteran in service to the poor and president of Citygate Network, this expertly written study convicts and equips its participants to reach out to their neighbors in need.

Certified True Charities

Learn more about certification



Helping men grow closer to Christ and re-enter the workplace

Fuller Center for Housing

Helping people across the world to build, repair, and own affordable homes

Watered Gardens

Partnering with the the local Church’s mission to serve the poor in Jesus’ name

Choices Medical Services

Providing sexual health services, counseling, and abortion alternatives free of charge

God’s Resort

Providing relationship-based transitional housing for people seeking the love and support of the body of Christ as they discover or rediscover God’s love for them and His influence in their lives

Mission Joplin

Showing Christ’s love by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of people who need help, healing, and hope

2in5 Initiative Joplin

Loving our neighbor by building lasting relationships and empowerment

We Care of the 4 States

Assisting local individuals and families in need through food distribution

What They’re Saying About True Charity

The True Charity Initiative is today’s most promising effort to show compassion without creating long term dependence.

Marvin Olasky

Editor-in-Chief, WORLD Magazine

True Charity is transforming how churches, community organizations, and volunteers truly help those in need.
Tarren Bragdon

CEO, Foundation for Government Accountability

One of the most productive road trips my wife and I have taken occurred a couple of years ago when we drove from Wichita to Joplin to attend the first Leadership Forum for the True Charity Initiative. It was an eye-opener and a myth dispeller. I had just assumed the interim leadership of the largest homeless shelter in Kansas. My understanding of ministry to the poor was still in development. What we learned in Joplin had a pronounced impact upon our approach to serving those Christ love’s most – the hurting, homeless, addicted and abused. By revamping programs, expecting more from clients and encouraging self-improvement, our Mission today is more an incubator for change than simply a first-aid station for the homeless. Charity, as we now provide it, is about helping people get ahead, not just get by. It was triggered by that trip to Joplin.
Denny Bender

CEO, Union Rescue Mission, Wichita, KS

The (True Charity) philosophy and system…to transform the way charity is provided in this country is nothing short of revolutionary.
Andrew C. Brown

Executive Vice President, FlourishNow

Precisely because of what we learned today, I want to empower these youth on the streets.
Cesar Garcia

Director, Tiempo de Rescate (Time of Rescue) Ministry, Guatemala City following a True Charity training, ‘Measuring What Matters.’

[True Charity] is a movement not based on theory only but from practiced experience over many years … grown out of efforts started at Watered Gardens Mission in Joplin, Missouri where the principles covered in the training have a proven track record. It’s truly an approach based on the wiser path to teach a person how to fish rather than just continuing to give them a fish and consequently creating dependency.
Randy Crane

Pastor, Waldensian Presbyterian Church, Monett, Missouri

We’ve always worked to be a church that gets outside the four walls of the building, and as a result, we’ve gotten a lot of calls from folks needing assistance. Unfortunately, our approach was one that enabled people. We were just giving handouts time after time! Thanks in large part to the education and advisement we’ve received from the True Charity Initiative, our… model of ministry now emphasizes empowerment.

Chip Boyd

Administrative Pastor, Journey Church, Joplin, Missouri

True Charity University

Your Online Classroom for Authentic, Accurate, and Actualized Charity

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