The 500 Hundred Day Strategy

The 500 Hundred Day Strategy

Last spring as the COVID19 pandemic continued it’s spread I advised my clients thinking about raising capital to adapt what I called, The 500 Hundred Day Strategy.

Why 500 days?  That puts us essentially at the fall of 2021.  Let’s be frank, in terms of giving and making budget, 2020 is a throwaway year.    2020 is a bridge year to 2021. We need to use the rest of 2020 and the start of 2021 to position us for the future of our churches.

What do I base this on?  Several things.

  1. Uncertainty. Right now, there is simply too much we don’t know.  No one does.  Those who say they do are kidding you.  We need to let the dust settle. 
  2. The slow come back.  Those churches that have started back with on campus worship are seeing on average around 30% of their Pre-COVID attendance. There are many states where large gatherings will be banned until there is a vaccine.  Most are saying a vacine might not be readily available until the early 2021.
  3. The election in November.  If you thought the last presidential election was divisive you ain’t seen nothing yet.  I avoid politics here but, everyone agrees that until the election is decided we will not know the direction our country is headed.
  4. The financial devastation will take time for people to work through.  If the shutdown had only lasted a couple of weeks or even months the impact would have been negligible.  It could take months to work through the financial loss your small business owners and others are experiencing. 

All of the above is why I have counseled early on, no sudden moves.  Survive through these next few months.  Continue doing ministry but push larger projects and funding initiatives out 500 days.

Bottom Line:  With so much unknown raising significant money for large projects is much more difficult.  As with many things, there are exceptions.

Exceptions to this advice:

  1. Debt reduction.
  2. Banks requiring you to be in a capital campaign.
  3. Already into the project.

Even in these situations I would advise shorter giving initiatives of one to two years.

What can be done this fall in terms of raising funds?  I am counseling to use the fall of 2020 to do three things funding wise.  You want to raise,

  1. Sustaining funds – This keeps the boat afloat!
  2. Seed funds – For instance, your funding goal might be to raise funds to build a reserve fund.  Banks are now requiring 3 to 6 months operating capital held in reserve.
  3. Sowing funds – Raise the funds for any soft costs for an upcoming project. 

I am advising a pre-campaign goal of 5% to 10% of your above your normal Opportunity Budget appeal this fall run exclusively through the core of your leadership.  Essentially, I am making my end of year appeal run from September to December 31st challenging my key leaders to step up with an over and above gift. 

This is your bridge to a more expansive “ask” in the fall of 2021.  Yet please understand that the above recommendation does not mean you are doing nothing. In fact you will need time to position yourself t be ready for your next major “ask.”

My goal is to get my clients ready so that when they are ready we don’t have to waste time getting ready to be ready! My Platinum Level membership is designed specifically for churches 12 to 24 months out from major capital plans. Find out more at, https://acts17generosity.com/memberships/platinum/

I can help you get ready for when you are ready!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach