37: OCF’s Home Office

Our ministry is run and coordinated from OCF’s Home Office, a name harkening back to when OCU communication and accounting was accomplished in the basement of Buck and Louisa Buxton’s home. The Home Office invites you to visit any time you’re passing through the Colorado area! We consider visitors to be like family stopping by for a cup of coffee or a conversation. Our daily rhythm and staff schedules vary each week (especially as we get better at working from distributed offices), so calling ahead is helpful if you want to visit with a specific part of the staff.

The Home Office team includes the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, along with staff who oversee the Finance, Resource Development, Communications, Field Operations, Member Care, and Human Resource specialties. 

Every weekday morning, the Home Office staff stops routine work to gather for group study of the Scriptures and to pray. The staff then prays for our members (you send in the prayer requests), writes cards to deployed and overseas personnel, and updates one another on events impacting the entire OCF family.

The Home Office is where most member inquiries are handled and where we respond to your requests for materials to support local fellowships and conferences. Think of the Home Office as a small nerve center that helps connect OCF members to one another by doing things like managing the OCF member database, providing linkups between members, and working to keep the online OCF Directory up to date. The greatest joy for the OCF Home Office team is seeing members grow and thrive in Christ throughout the military!

OCF COMMUNICATIONS 

The Communications team aims to have “The right channel for the right audience at the right time.”

Throughout most of its history, OCF communications largely included only two primary channels: print and face-to-face. Digital communications methods now include audio and video, giving OCF five ways to communicate with a diverse membership that is glad to receive information from the staff in a variety of ways.

Print Communications: Printed material is particularly helpful in deployed locations and where the internet is not available. This OCF Handbook is a good example since you can request one or more copies of the Handbook for personal use or to share. Several publications are available in PDF form to download from the OCF website—from COMMAND (a magazine that focuses on relevant, timeless topics) and Connected (a newsletter that focuses on ministry news and events) to several longstanding topical booklets such as “Leading Effective Small Groups,” “100 Days Devotional,” and “May A Christian Serve in the Military?” OCF also has several dozen Bible studies that are available both in digital format online and for PDF download.

Digital Communications: The OCF website is the hub of our digital communications efforts. The website houses OCF’s Directory, numerous articles, Bible study downloads, ministry information, podcasts, videos, and projects such as the Integrated Faith Project. Other methods of digital communications include OCF’s social media channels, which show ministry in action (i.e., Facebook, Instagram). We publish email newsletters focused on specific audiences such as those who lead OCF fellowship groups and other newsletters that keep the broader OCF membership informed of time-sensitive ministry news. We expect to maintain a virtual ministry presence where the staff can connect with OCF members, and where members can interact with one another. 

Audio Communications: In 2018, OCF launched its first podcast, “OCF Crosspoint.” The show includes interviews with guests on a variety of topics while sharing stories of military life at the intersection of faith, family, and profession. OCF’s second podcast, “Leader, Draw Near,” was released as a limited-run, 54-episode show based on the book by the same name written by Col Larry and Bobbie Simpson, USAF (Ret.). The podcast is a short, weekly devotion for leaders and includes downloadable worksheets. OCF will eventually build an audio library that covers topics on mentoring, family, spiritual growth, and more.

Video Communications: OCF released an inaugural video series featuring conference center summer speakers and plans to increase video production and expand its library of OCF-generated video content. In addition, OCF offers access to RightNow Media, which houses a vast collection of Christian videos.

Face-to-Face Communications: This remains the heart of the OCF ministry. It involves in-person relationship and fellowship, such as what is found during year-round programming at OCF Conference Centers, in local Bible study fellowship groups, in mentoring relationships, and any number of other opportunities in which OCF members gather face to face.

OCF FINANCES

Some of you do not find finance or accounting practices interesting, but they are a critical part of non-profit accountability. We are a charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). We receive regular fiscal health checkups by an auditor, and we pay attention to the requests of members who have donated funds. What follows is a brief overview of what you may want to know. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions.

It takes millions of annual dollars to run the whole of OCF ministry. This requires a significant annual budgeting process to ensure we can hire and field staff, maintain facilities, support Strategic and Operational plans for outreach to, and fellowship in, the military community, and to operate two conference centers. In addition to supporting the personnel of OCF, giving enables the maintenance and further development of more than 70 buildings owned across six states. 

To operate with maximum transparency and accountability to our members, and in compliance with current law, OCF receives an annual external audit of our financial processes to ensure we conform to generally accepted accounting practices. Members who donate resources to OCF are worshiping God through their offerings, so we seek to honor God by holding and spending funds in good faith. These cash and non-cash donations are received, accounted for, spent, and further developed to enable OCF’s ministry work. 

Donations to OCF are received through a web interface (ocfusa.org/donate), by mail, and/or through the donation of non-cash items (e.g., vehicles, stock, real estate). Donations can be designated for a specific area of OCF’s work (e.g., a field location or conference center), or they can be donated to the general fund and used in the overall execution of ministry. General fund giving is critical for OCF to pay staff salaries, cover travel expenses, meet administrative expenses, and to keep our OCF-owned facilities maintained. 

OCF’s fiscal year begins annually on June 1 and runs through May 31, giving time for staff to plan and account for expenses when the staff’s ministry load best allows this work to be done. All gifts designated to any OCF ministry area other than to support general operations will be applied exclusively to support your chosen ministry until that ministry’s full annual budgeted need is met. After that criterion is satisfied, OCF may apply any excess funds to further the overall OCF outreach to the military.

The annual audit ensures we are using best practices of the non-profit sector, that we are meeting donor intent, and that we have checks and balances in place to ensure the integrity of our accounting practices. This audit report is briefed to the OCF Council to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility. In addition, OCF files an IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax on an annual basis. Our audited financial statements and the Forms 990 are posted on OCF’s website when they are completed.

OCF RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

OCF is sustained financially primarily by the donations and support of our members. While joining OCF requires no membership fee, the reality is that, along with conference center user fees, OCF’s work is sustained by the monthly gifts of members. For more than 75 years, OCF members have gladly given to God’s work of ministering within the military society. 

During the final phase of our successful multi-year Capital Campaign early in the 21st Century, OCF launched a Resource Development Team (RDT) to identify, cultivate and diversify donation revenue streams through expanded gift and estate planning offerings, foundation grants, and corporate matching gift programs. Our hope is that God will help us develop new revenue streams to position OCF for expanded ministry outreach and impact in the military community. 

You, the OCF member, donate about 60% of our operating budget, while conference center revenue makes up the other 40%. You keep the ministry healthy. You encourage the men and women of the military society to reach out to their neighbors with the hands and feet of Christ’s body, to host Bible studies and various kinds of fellowship, to serve at home and deployed, and to become ever more effective parts of the greater church body. Please pray about how to financially support the work of OCF on a regular basis.

THANK YOU!

Thank you for reading and considering the thoughts and concepts presented in the OCF Handbook! What a joy to have written it, to have received so much feedback from members and staff throughout its development, and now to have it in your hands so that we can grow into a more unified and effective ministry. If you have input for future editions, please contact the OCF Home Office, (800) 424-1984 or (303) 761-1984 or [email protected].