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Money Talk by Peter J. Mahler

Let’s Talk About Money and Weathering the Storm!

Money has become a key topic of conversation for Christians across the country. Because the coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced many businesses to close their doors, millions of Americans are unemployed. As a result, many churches and other Christian organizations may face potentially catastrophic reductions in income, even while there may be an increased need for your services.

So, how can you make ends meet during this uncertain time? You need to both offer services to those who need them most and, at the same time, reach out to those who have not been hit as hard by the financial crisis.

Live Out Your Mission

Now is the time to show your community that you care. Christ doesn’t just call us to serve our neighbors when we have the money to do so—we are to help others at all times. Continue to follow the tenets of discipleship. When you show the people around you the importance of the work you are doing, they will respond in ways you may not have anticipated. If you are a church, reach out to those both within and outside your faith community. If you are a school, make sure your families are receiving the services they need. And, if you are another Christian nonprofit, find outside-the-box ways to reach out to people.

Promote Online Giving

First of all, make sure you have a good system in place to donate money online. Yes, individuals can mail checks, but they are much more likely to donate if they can do so quickly and digitally. Additionally, don’t assume your supporters know your needs. Put together an online giving campaign — with milestones and incentives — that will help your organization through this tough time. At the same time, be mindful of your supporters’ financial situations—both the bad and the good. Many Americans have received federal economic impact payments. While some desperately need those checks to pay their own bills, others may consider donating some of that money to nonprofits, including yours.

Talk To Your Supporters

Send a message to your email list explaining your financial situation, and what it will take for you to continue providing services to the people who depend upon you. You’ll be surprised by how many people emerge out of the woodwork once they know you need money. Remember that we’re all in this together, and your community wants to support you. For every person who is going through a difficult financial time, there’s another who is looking for the right cause to support. Show them why they should choose yours.

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Peter Mahler is the Vice President of Underwriting for Religious Markets at Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer).  Church Mutual® is the leader in providing property-casualty insurance and risk management innovations for houses of worship, nonprofit organizations, religious schools, and other organizations that serve others.

 

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