90 cents of every dollar donated to UMD directly supports programs

UMD Wins Awards for SPENT


Congratulations to Urban Ministries of Durham for winning two 2012 North American Effie Awards for:


  • SPENT in the category of Media Idea
  • SPENT in the category of Media Innovation


Receiving an Effie Award signifies your work was one of the most effective marketing efforts of last year, incorporating an insightful communications strategy, outstanding creativity, and the market results to prove it worked.  Effie entries go through two rigorous rounds of judging and a small percentage of entering cases emerge as winners.

SPENT challenges players to make it through the month on their last $1,000.  Changes in employment, housing, medical costs, and other expenses force the SPENT player to make difficult choices that often compromise the health, safety, or integrity of their families.  Unfortunately, this game is the reality for many of the 6,000 people who come to UMD each year because they have simply run out of options.


Developed by McKinney, a Durham-based advertising agency, SPENT was originally created as a way to engage new donors and volunteers for UMD.  However, SPENT has crossed all geographic, economic, and social boundaries.  Even educators and employers are using SPENT as an interactive lesson for their students and employees regarding financial literacy and social responsibility.


As expressed in the following comments from SPENT players, people from all over the world are finding SPENT to be a valuable tool for understanding how difficult and painful it is to live on the edge of losing everything:


“Thanks for drawing attention to the reality of what so many people face. There is a lot of need here too, but I hope you draw national attention to the issue of poverty and unemployment.” – Danette, Africa


“Playing this game has shattered how I view the privilege in my life, and increased my empathy and compassion for those who do not have to play a game to understand the hardships of life.” – Christina 


“It’s one thing to feel sorry for homeless people; it’s another to be forced into their shoes. ” – The Huffington Post


Play SPENT and see how this revolutionary game creates a new, tangible awareness of the struggles of 14 million Americans.





News & Needs

Nov 20, 2014

Our friends from Bank of America stopped by this morning to serve a hot breakfast to 250 hungry and cold men, women and children.

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Nov 10, 2014

Honor cards are holiday greeting cards that let your coworkers, family members, friends and all those on your holiday card list know you've made a donation in their honor, to help very poor and homeless neighbors.

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Nov 07, 2014

Urban Ministries of Durham shared Strings Attached of Durham's event.

What are you doing next Friday, Nov.

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Nov 05, 2014

For the second year in a row you can find UMD in the INDY Week Give Guide and online at http://give.indyweek.com/Nonprofits/Human-Services-and-Social-Action/Urban-Ministries-of-Durham.

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Nov 03, 2014

This Saturday, like every Saturday, UMD received an abundance of fresh vegetables from Durham Farmers' Market.

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Oct 30, 2014

A warm thank you for Beth El Synagogue and the leadership of Gary and Beth Berman for hosting the 5th annual What's Not to Like, A Yiddish Songfest to benefit UMD.

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Oct 27, 2014

Urban Ministries of Durham shared Sonam Chorus's event.

The Sonam Chorus has chosen Urban Ministries of Durham as the beneficiary for their All Saints Day concert.

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Oct 20, 2014

Heart Of Carolina Chorus has chosen Urban Ministries of Durham as their altruistic partner! They just presented UMD executive director Patrice Nelson with a generous contribution raised at the Bull City A Capella Slam hosted last month, which will offer food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need.

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Oct 10, 2014

The UPS truck just arrived and delivered a dozen cozy blankets for our Community Shelter residents.

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Oct 09, 2014

Temple Baptist Fish Fry - Huge Success! Thank you to all who cooked, ate and supported the fish fry.

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Oct 08, 2014

The nights are starting to get cooler -- and the UMD Community Shelter needs 100 twin blankets right away.

Amazon.com Universal Wishlist for Urban Ministries of Durham.

Amazon.com: Cozy fleece blanketView this post on Facebook

Sep 25, 2014

The Food Pantry is very low on groceries -- would you help us to fill it? We need peanut butter, powdered milk, canned veggies and meats, soups, pasta, pasta sauce, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal and grits.

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Sep 23, 2014

Join Temple Baptist Church, on Sterling Dr., Friday Oct.

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Sep 20, 2014

#TriangleBattle is so much fun.

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