4 More Years!

4 More Years!

4 More Years is always shouted out by the incumbent party. The meaning is not simply we want for more years of power. That’s a given for every party. The real meaning is, “if we lose, they’ll undo everything in four years Our country can’t survive that.”

The party out of power is always saying, “we can’t survive another four years!” Both parties are focused upon the next four years. And for once, they both are correct in looking four years out. You need to take a page from the political parties and think four more years. Why? Consider this projection.

“GivingUSA Foundation research indicates that, in the past, it has taken an average of three to four years for inflation-adjusted giving to rise back to pre-recession levels.”  That quote comes from a recent paper released by the leading fundraising research arm in America the Blackbaud Institute.  The paper is entitled, “The State of the Social Sector: Navigating in a Time of Uncertainty.”

Here are a few of the major reasons why the next four years are going to present a giving challenge for every church in America.

  1. Churches historically lag behind in entering and exiting economic downturns. Data from past crises shows that giving’s downturn as a result of the crisis trails by months the actual crisis. For instance, after 9/11 giving to the church continued strong. The spring of 2002 was when the giving decline accelerated. During the Crash of 2008 giving stayed relatively strong initially only to decline later. Full recovering took several years and in some cases never returned to pre-crash levels.
  2. Giving was already in decline. Since the late 1960’s giving as a percentage of income has steadily been in decline. COVID19 has sped up that decline.
  3. Fewer Donors. The same Blackbaud paper stated this, “While the amount of dollars continues to grow, research increasingly shows that the number of individuals donating money is shrinking.”
  4. Aging Donors. Your key donor group is Baby Boomers. 10,000 of them every day turn 65. As they enter into retirement their earning power subsides which impacts their giving power.

Key Steps You Must Take to Survive Four More Years – Like it or not the above is true. So, what should you do?

Accept the reality – There is no going back to February before the lockdown. All of the above facts were with us before COVID19. The pandemic simply brought them front and center. The sooner you accept the reality of the giving challenge the better you will be able to navigate your way through.

Acknowledge that there is no quick fix. We did not get into this mess overnight and we will not get out overnight. You can’t sign up for some three month program that at the end will magically change your giving universe.

Be Aware – Know how your giving is doing. Keep abreast of your trends so that you can quickly adapt and adjust. My Platinum members receive twice a year financial analysis from me to help them know exactly what their current trends are. Find out more here, https://acts17generosity.com/memberships/platinum/

Take Action – Do something. You cannot simply sit and wring your hands. Yes, the next four years will be a challenge but with a plan of action, you can navigate successfully the path to financial security. The longer you wait to act the harder it will be, the less prepared you will be and the more in danger your future will be.

My FREE paper, “The Path to Financial Security,” lays out the principles of how to begin navigating these next four years! Download your free copy at:


The church that survives into the future is the church that prepares today for the future! Let’s get started now!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach

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