• The Rev Ken Howard

Keeping Congregations Connected: Navigating Giving During the COVID-19 Crisis


By Mary Frances


We tend to expect charitable giving to go up during a national crisis, but then the COVID-19 crisis isn’t your typical crisis.  It’s hitting us in multiple places at once. Health, home, employment and financial security, both short- and long-term, all feel very much at risk right now.  So we might expect that congregational giving could go down at this time. Amazingly, people have the ability to rise to the current challenges. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy and its partners have been tracking donations since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.  As of March 26, 2020, people and corporations have donated over $2.9 billion dollars to disaster- and health-related organizations. People are still giving.  


Of course, those giving numbers are national and perhaps even reflect some international donations.  What can you expect at the local level? Can you expect your congregation to continue giving at the level it has in the past?  Can you expect giving to increase? The Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report (NMIR) from FaithX can provide you with some answers.  This two-page report contains over 40 data points and several of them can guide your expectations and planning in a time like this.


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This post is part of an ongoing series. Future topics may include:


  • Online worship at a distance Part 2: Communion at a Distance

  • Online Outreach Part – 2: More tools and strategies.

  • Social Vulnerability: A new tool for predicting at-risk neighborhoods.

  • Things people can do to create a sense of community with their neighbors and neighborhoods.

  • Tools and strategies for hosting online fellowship.

  • Tools and strategies for facilitating online bible study and formation. 

  • Tools and strategies congregations can use to locate and reach populations most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • Tools and strategies by which judicatories can resource their congregations


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