While not “as usual”, business is still moving forward at TLSP! Instead of monthly in-person meetings with principals and guest presenters, even now we are hosting weekly Zoom meetings with all 19 schools and today’s guest- Cross Connections… (yes, that is me taking the picture in the top row.)
Donors are moving forward as well! If you didn’t hear, Thrivent Financial and the InFaith Foundation have a matching challenge right now (well, as of 12:50pm on March 26, see below), where you can support a Thrivent-approved charity (schools, churches, nonprofits that have registered to receive Choice and Action grants) and have it matched $1 for $2. The match challenge launched Monday, and leadership thought it would go through June. However, Thrivent reports nearly 90% of the available funds are already matched (it will probably be gone by the time you read this, but I hope they extend it!) Here is the link.
While the match is fantastic and much appreciated, I think there is a much broader lesson here: DONORS WANT TO HELP.
Unlike what you may think, charitable giving is alive and well, and the success -- and quickness of its fulfillment -- is real-world proof of what the research says: your donors want to know what is going on, they want to know how you are weathering this storm of home-based teaching environment without Chapel, and job losses looming, and they want to know HOW THEY CAN HELP.
I am explaining to our Partner schools (and anyone else that will listen to me!) that one big lesson learned from past economic downturns (2007-2009, Dot.Com, 9/11, etc.) is that nonprofits should not circle the wagons, cut their fundraising budgets, and stop communicating with donors. On the contrary, those organizations that stayed the course, but altered how they did things, came out stronger. We can’t meet with donors face-to-face, but we can call them. We may have canceled our gala, but supporters may donate their ticket purchases. A matching challenge by an outside organization may be oversubscribed.
While I am not a Thrivent executive, I am guessing they were surprised by the response to their challenge as well. For me, it warms my heart. God is good, all of the time.
Thanks to donors like you and the grace of God, TLSP can continue to collaborate with the 19 schools and their 300 educators, as they continue to provide needed support to our 4,000 children in Northeast Indiana.
P.S. As I was writing this post, I was on a phone call with one of our school administrators who shared that a donor has stepped up to help their school continue to pay their hourly employees through this hardship; with everything that schools are dealing with, this donor (and the others they are calling right now!) can help remove at least one worry off of their plate: a paycheck!