Mark Brooks

The Post COVID19 Impact on Giving

We have just finished with the weirdest Easter in any of our memories and here I am writing about the post COVID19 impact on giving. Why? Because the church that survives into the future is the church that plans today for the future!

If you are reading much, you are seeing a lot of questions that are starting to be asked about the future. When will we be back to meeting on a regular basis? When will the economy open back up? What about our summer schedule? What, when and how are the questions we have for just about everything. Do you know what the real answer is,

WE DON’T KNOW!

If we are honest, we have not known a lot of things that we thought we knew. My standard answer for years to any question has been,

IT DEPENDS!

I wasn’t copping out or trying to be smart. That was the best answer to the questions I get. Why? There are so many variables in each question that I find there are few questions that can be answered without asking more questions.

Here are some “It Depends,” questions:

  • How much can we raise in a capital campaign? It depends.
  • How long will it take for the money to come in? It depends.
  • How much will a bank lend us? It depends.

We have moved from asking “It Depends,” kind of questions to asking, “How Will,” can of questions.

  • How will we stay connected with our congregation if we can’t meet?
  • How can we keep our ministerial programs alive if we can’t meet?
  • How can we keep the offering plate full when we are not meeting?

Here is a danger I am seeing, the tyranny of the immediate is sucking the life out of any forward planning. Few are thinking beyond next week. We are so focused upon immediate survival that we are ignoring the future. This lack of forward focus is going to severely hurt the Church. Smart leaders always have one eye on the future. Do you?

Let me use a Donald Trump press conference as an illustration. OK, before I do that everyone just chill! Be mature, listen for my point and forget about your particular political view. Here is the story,

The other day my wife and I were watching a press conference with the President. He ended his remarks by saying, “This has been a really good day for us. We have seen the Stock Market numbers go up. We have also seen a major move on the oil front that I am hoping to announce soon.” As he turned to leave my wife looks at me and says, “That was not a good way to end the press conference on a day when more people died in America from COVID19 than ever before.”

I had the exact opposite reaction. As he said that, it gave me heart. I am a small businessman and my eye is on the economy and the future. His final report on the economy gave me hope amidst the ugliness of COVID19. Both views are important. While we can be critical of how tone-deaf our president can be at times I do appreciate that he has his eye beyond COVID19.

My point, which is not political, is that in the midst of whatever crisis we face we must be forward-looking and thinking. Do you have your eye on the post COVID19 world we will be living in?

So, back to my title, “The Post COVID19 Impact on Giving.” While the truth is that no one knows what the ultimate impact will be we here are some thought to consider:

  1. Everything we knew about giving has changed and is changing.
  2. It’s changing faster than we are keeping up.
  3. You will still need to make your budget even if that budget is less than you hoped for.
  4. People will still be generous but,
  5. People will have more questions than ever before they give you any more additional money.
  6. Now more than ever, you must make a case for every appeal.
  7. Sooner or later you will need to raise capital dollars.
  8. How you raise funds must change.

I believe there is a path forward. It is different than in the past. Don’t waste this opportunity but realize it is different.

I am thinking out 120 days from now. Are you?

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach